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Former Teacher Sentenced For Sexually Abusing Pupils During The 1970s

Former teacher at Caerleon Comprehensive School, Newport, Gareth Rogers, sentenced for sexually abusing two pupils during the 1970s.

Rogers, a former history teacher at Caerleon Comprehensive School was convicted of sexually abusing two former pupils. He has now been sentenced to a 17 year custodial sentence, with an extended licence period of three years. Rogers has also been made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order on an indefinite basis.

When sentencing, the judge noted that he was at significant risk of committing further offences against children and causing “severe physical and psychological harm”.

The first complainant came forward to the police in 2018, having disclosed the abuse to his mother and sister. Rogers was arrested and a criminal investigation commenced. Aware of Rogers’ arrest, another individual felt able to come forward in 2019 and reported their own experiences of abuse at his hands. Rogers was subsequently charged with 5 counts of indecent assault and one count of buggery (as it was referred to at the time of his offending).

Rogers denied having sexually abused the complainants and attempted to argue that they were “making it all up”, showing a complete lack of remorse for his actions and disregard for the devastating effect his abuse would have had on the complainants. This argument was mounted by Rogers, despite having been convicted on three previous occasions of sexually abusing a number of other children.

Rogers was convicted of all 6 counts by a jury following a trial at Newport Crown Court.

Following his conviction, both complainants spoke eloquently about the impact that the abuse has had on them over the years and how they have attempted to deal with this. Rogers’ first victim said:

“I was a happy child who became an unhappy adult, the effect on me emotionally was devastating and I no longer trusted anyone. I thought this must be what adults do and I was terrified of adult males for years until I was old and strong enough to repel occurrences.”

“I was untrusting of males and males in authority. My initial thought is not to trust people and keep a low profile… That level of distrust stayed with me all my life post attack and I had feelings of self-disgust, low self-esteem, low self-confidence and ashamed of what happened…”

Rogers’ other victim prepared a statement which explained “I have suffered differing amounts of emotional problems over the years. I packed the memory deep inside my mind but of course it would come back in varying degrees of time. It affected my personal life and trust of people and affected relationships with people close to me.”

“I couldn’t be totally honest with them, keeping what happened to me a secret. I believe it was a significant cause of me becoming alcoholic, drinking to deal with emotions and memory of abuse I suffered. My addiction slowly affected the way I lived and worked and as a result I was sent to rehab.”

Their experiences in this regard are not unusual. Over the years, I have acted for a number of survivors who have struggled to deal with the long-lasting effects and trauma caused to them by the abuse.

Often, survivors attempt to compartmentalise their memories of the abuse, or avoid these altogether by blocking them out, relying on drugs and alcohol. The significant impact that sexual abuse can have on mental health often has a knock-on effect on multiple aspects of peoples’ day-to-day lives, with relationships, employment and friendships all being impacted to varying degrees.

Reporting the abuse to the police, or contacting solicitors, can be a distressing and re-traumatising experience and it is usually at this point that mental health support and treatment is most needed. Often there are delays for treatment and therapy via the NHS, with long waiting lists, a reduced (or no) choice of therapist and when treatment is accessed, it is for a limited number of sessions. By bringing a claim for the abuse suffered, and the effects of that abuse, you may be able to claim for the cost mental health treatment on a privately paying basis from the Defendant, and access the support needed to assist with recovering from and processing the effects of the abuse.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse or assault and would like to have a free, confidential discussion about your options, then Hodge Jones & Allen can help you.

Olivia Coffey, a senior associate in the Civil Liberties & Human Rights team, has many years’ experience in acting for victims of recent and non-recent abuse. She can be contacted directly by emailing or by calling 0808 296 7694.

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