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16 March 2015, 14:21
A retired teacher from Coventry has been jailed for almost four years for indecently assaulting schoolboys back in the 1980s.
John Patton, 74, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault against 15-year-old boys in January 2015. Judge Peter Carr sentenced him to three years and 11 months in prison at Warwick Crown Court.
He worked at Kingshurst Comprehensive School, Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, but admitted attacking the boys at his home.
The judge said there was a significant breach of the trust placed in Patton by his pupils and that parents are entitled to expect their children to be safe at school.
One of his victims, who has been named as Chris to protect his identity, has told Heart: "The abuse I suffered as a teenager ruined my life. I’m relieved that he pleaded guilty and now faces time in prison for what he did to me and some of his other pupils. I can finally start to move on with my life knowing that everyone now believes me.
“I completely trusted Patton as my teacher, but I now know that the attention he showed in my education was a form of grooming. The abuse I suffered made me feel dirty and I thought everybody knew what had happened to me, which had a massive impact on my everyday life.
“I struggled to focus on my education after the abuse and I was eventually asked to leave college, which meant my dream of becoming a teacher ended. I’ve struggled to maintain meaningful relationships and have tried to take my own life as a result of the painful memories I have.
“I hope that by speaking out others who have suffered abuse at the hands of people in a position of trust will feel they can come forward and that it is possible to see justice done. I struggled to come to terms with what happened to me throughout my life, but my overall feeling now is relief and I’m looking forward to moving on with my life and putting this ordeal behind me.”