An ex-teacher has been sentenced to a total of four years imprisonment for a series of sex offences against pupils at a West Sussex public school.
Peter Burr, 72, retired, of The Square, Kingswear, Dartmouth, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday (5 January) after admitting nine offences of indecent assault on four boy pupils aged between 11 and 14, between 1969 and 1973, while he was a physics teacher and assistant housemaster at Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham.
He had pleaded not guilty to four other indecent assaults and these were directed to lay on the court file, not proceeded with.
Burr will also be a registered sex offender for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last indefinitely, severely restricting his access to young people.
Burr lived in one of the rooms off the house dormitory in his charge, and supervised boys living there during prep and lights out, and in other daily activities around the school.
Detective Constable Rebecca Wilde of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit said; “He clearly focused his sexual attentions on boys between and 11 and 13 in his house, leaving older boys alone.
“Some of the offences took place in his study during informal Wednesday and Sunday afternoon gatherings to watch TV, with tea, biscuits and cake on offer. To be invited was regarded as a great privilege and he took advantage of this, and his status, to systematically touch and molest three of the victims.
“The fourth victim was assaulted in the dormitory area and at the school swimming pool.
“The four boys kept these traumatic experiences largely to themselves for up to 48 years and moved on with their lives.
“We were first told about Burr in February last year, when one of the victims came forward, triggered by hearing a local radio debate in London on the recently publicised football sex abuse scandal, and believing that insufficient attention was given to cases in which offenders were not public celebrities.
“One of the others later came forward after the School advised ex-pupils of the ongoing investigation.
“This is an important reminder that such reports will always be taken seriously, however long ago they are said to have happened.”
Sussex Police had full co-operation from management at the School throughout this investigation.