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BREAKING Horsham

Former teacher from Horsham public school convicted after nine day trial

A former teacher and chaplain at a Horsham public school has been convicted of a series of sexual offences against a pupil in his care.

Gary Dobbie, 67, of Rue De La Piale, Albi, France, was convicted of four counts of sexual assaults against the boy between 28 and 31 years ago, at Hove Crown Court on Friday 3 May after a nine-day trial.

Dobbie had already been convicted in June last year at the same court of 15 offences against eight other pupils aged between 12 and 19, while a teacher at the school, all but one between 1991 and 1996.

Following the further allegation received by police for the first time during 2018, Dobbie appeared again at the same court in April this year and pleaded not guilty to four charges that he indecently assaulted the further victim, then aged between 13 and 17 between 1986 and 1991, who was also a pupil at the school while Dobbie was a teacher. One of the counts related to multiple occasions.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on Wednesday (June 12) for all 19 offences – those of which he was convicted in June last year and those of which he was convicted in May this year.

He was sentenced to a total of 12 years’ imprisonment and will be a registered sex offender for life.

Detective Sergeant Rebecca Wilde of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit said:

“Dobbie preyed on the vulnerabilities of his victims for his own sexual gratification.

“This has been a very complex and sensitive investigation in which the victims of Dobbie showed real courage to speak up and report both to Christ’s Hospital School and the police.

“All the offending in this case dates back to between 17 and 32 years ago, and does not involve current staff or pupils at the school.

“We have had the fullest co-operation from the school throughout this investigation and they have supported us in providing all the information we requested, which helped us to contact these victims and witnesses.

“Anyone who is the victim of sexual abuse, now or in the past, can contact us at any time, online or by calling 101 and can arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.”