A former private schoolteacher has been jailed for crimes against young Northwood students in the 1970’s.
Richard Gaines, 74, was a geography teacher at St Martin’s Preparatory School in Northwood between 1971 and 1977.
During a previous court hearing, he admitted seven counts of gross indecency with a boy under the age of 14 in relation to six different victims while working at the school.
On Wednesday, November 20 he was sentenced to five years and two months in prison at Isleworth Crown Court. He was also given a sexual harm prevention order to last indefinitely.
Olivia Ball, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “Richard Gaines used his position of power to carry out indecent acts against young boys, often in a cupboard, at the school site where children should have been safe. He groomed these boys and abused their trust.
“He offered to teach them ‘sex education’ and showed them pornographic magazines.
“The victims have shown immense courage in coming forward and supporting this prosecution. I hope this conviction provides them with some closure.”
Simon Dunn, current headmaster of St Martin’s School, said: “On October 9 at Isleworth Crown Court, a former employee of the school, Mr R.E.F. Gaines, pleaded guilty to seven charges of gross indecency with a child. These charges related to boys attending the school during the 1970’s.
“The incidents all took place over 40 years ago, but we are clearly very upset that these incidents happened at our school and wish to express our genuine sympathy for the individuals affected.
“The school has fully supported the police and other relevant authorities in investigating this distressing matter.”
Picture courtesy of St Martin’s School