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Spalding Today - UK

Jailed for abusing two boys

Sunday, 18th May 2008

A prominent freemason and respected schoolteacher has been jailed for six years for abusing two young boys.

Richard Taylor, of Lady Margaret's Avenue, Market Deeping, was a science teacher for 25 years at Bretton Woods School in Peterborough, before he was exposed as a paedophile following an incident on a family holiday in 2006.

Two nine-year-old Dutch boys complained that Taylor had been spying on them in the showers at a Spanish campsite.

Taylor had to leave the campsite and when he returned home his two English victims, now adults, discovered what had happened and reported him to the NSPCC, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Taylor (47), a highly respected member of the community in the Deepings area, was by then secretary of the local St Guthlacs' Freemasons Lodge and a Provincial Grand Junior Warden in the organisation.

He denied committing any offences but was convicted by a jury after a three-day trial of assaulting two boys aged seven and nine, causing actual bodily harm, between 1980 and 1982.

He was also convicted of two charges of indecent assault and two charges of indecency with a child involving the older boy between 1983 and 87.

Judge John Machin told him: "You have ruined a distinguished and useful teaching career in which you have been held in high regard but that cannot save you from an extensive sentence of imprisonment.

"This was wicked and a very damaging course of abuse against both these young boys."

Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said Taylor had beaten the boys with a hosepipe on a number of occasions before going on to sexually abuse the older boy.

He said both victims, now grown up with families of their own, were badly affected by what happened.

Graham Huston, defending, said Taylor had been abused as a teenager by a scout leader who was later jailed.

He said Taylor had now been sacked and his wife had begun divorce proceedings against him,

He said: "He has lost his job, his family, his home, his career and his reputation."

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