Court hears of 'horrific sex abuse' by Wellington College teacherBy Becky Barnes
June 28, 2012
A man who claims he was abused by his housemaster at a prestigious Crowthorne school has been accused of making up the allegations to prove he was "emotionally complex".
The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims that when he boarded at the £30,000-a-year Wellington College he was sexually abused by maths teacher Bruce Roth for nine months when he was aged 13 to 14.
At Reading Crown Court today, Alexander Williams, defending 46-year-old Roth, accused the witness of being an attention seeker and making up the claims.
Mr Williams said that the incidents "simply didn't happen" and accused the claimant of "developing your story as you were being interviewed".
The witness said the suggestion that he would make up such allegations to prove he was emotionally complex was "ridiculous".
He said: "It is the most horrific thing that has happened to me. It is terrifying. It has had a serious effect on my family as well."
He vehemently denied that he had made up the allegations and said he had not told anyone because he was "terrified of the consequences".
He told the court: "I was terrified of being teased by the others for coming up with this and for the trouble it would cause the school."
He admitted he felt a loyalty to the school and was scared of the rumours and gossip that would result from him speaking out.
The witness, one of five alleged victims, claimed that Roth would creep into his room, wait in the doorway after "lights out" and then visit his bed sometimes "in upwards of three times a week".
Mr Williams asked the witness why he did not shout out or stop Roth from touching him.
The witness replied: "I was a kid at the time. Just started school - I can't tell you why."
Mr Williams said Roth would visit the room but only when on bedtime duty or to deal with disturbance or noise and would stand in "neutral space". He added the dormitory was not dark or private enough for the alleged abuse to go unnoticed.
The witness claimed Roth moved him to a bed in a secluded part of the dormitory to progress the abuse and that he was abused in Roth's flat and in the maths department.
The alleged victim claimed he received gifts from Roth and tried to commit suicide after the abuse happened.
He said: "I was crying out for attention - I was desperate for someone to know or to help."
The alleged victim recalled in court today that Roth had a picture of the child catcher from 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and a Bruce the shark character from 'Finding Nemo' in his classroom.
Mr Williams said these features of the classroom had been added since the alleged abuse took place.
He also said there was "no absolute bar" on pupils visiting Roth's flat as prefect meetings were held there and boarders were allowed to watch football games on Sky television.
The court will hear from the first witness' family this afternoon.
Roth is charged with four counts of indecent assault on a male under 16, four counts of sexual activity with a child, three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and six counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.
These charges are alleged to have taken place over a period of 22 years and relate to five boys, two who were at King's College, Rochester, and three at Wellington College, Dukes Ride, Crowthorne.
The trial continues.