May 2016

Sex ‘monster’ boarding school head caged for raping pupils and throwing twisted ‘abuse parties’

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A boarding school headmaster known as “the monster at the end of the hall” was today jailed for 17 years after raping and beating six young boys at the institution .

Philip Batten, 70, was convicted of the rape and abuse of pupils at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate, Surrey.

He abused six boys over 11 years either by plying them with alcohol or inviting them to a club called “The Cherries”, where he would play sex games with them, the court heard.

Batten also visited them in their dormitories and he even filmed the abuse, the judge was told.

Judge Neill Stewart said today: “The court cannot undo the grotesque harm you have caused.”

Guildford Crown Court heard victim statements on how the pupils, now men, have struggled to come to terms with the horrific abuse.

One man tragically committed suicide last year aged 41, after telling his mother what he had been through.

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The former pupil was described by his mother as “a happy child” when he first joined the school before his personality changed and he underwent terrible periods of depression.

He finally divulged the secret to his mother and the pair underwent counselling before the ex-pupil took his own life, Judge Stewart said.

Other emotional impact statements from victims were read to the court. One ex-pupil said: “There is no pill to dampen the psychological ripples that have traversed my life.”

Another said: “I just hope I can spend one night where I forget the monster living at the end of the hall who would not listen when I said ‘no’.”

During the trial, Prosecutor Siobhan Molloy told the jury Batten had beaten another pupil and split another boy’s head open by throwing a black chalkboard eraser at him.

The jury heard that Batten also had his own elite group of pupils whom he called the “Cherries” who were plied with booze and made to engage in sexual activity including oral sex.

Miss Molloy added: “He reserved the more sadistic attacks for ‘lesser types’ who were not members of the elevated group: The Cherries.”

Michael Haynes, defending, said his client had since undergone a sexual offences programme and described his own crimes as “detestable, abhorrent, reprehensible” and “a betrayal”.

Batten, of Wood Lane, Stogumber, in Taunton, Somerset, who waved to his family as he was led away to the cells by security staff, was now facing civil charges the court heard.

Judge Stewart said: “There is no sentence I can pass that can reflect the impact this has had on the victims.

“Your victims were particularly vulnerable because of the age disparity. Some were children of service personnel stationed overseas, and others had troubled backgrounds.

“Your entering their dormitory was akin to entering the child’s home. On occasion you acted with other adults, and you used alcohol and drugs on occasion.

“We have heard that there was also filming involved on some occasions.

“This was an exceptionally grave breach of a high degree of trust which was placed in you. You had the responsibility of a parent to safeguard and nurture these children. Instead, you groomed and manipulated them.

“You truly were a sexual predator, and for 30 years or more you tried to get away with it. The court cannot undo the grotesque harm you have caused.”

May 2016

Former Reigate school teacher admits more than 20 charges of historic child abuse

Royal Alexander and Albert School head teacher Paul Spencer-Ellis

A FORMER house master at a Reigate school has pleaded guilty to 28 charges of abuse and neglect of children younger than 16.

Philip Batten, 70, now of Caddock Hill in Battle, appeared at Guildford Crown Court today (Monday) facing a total of 42 charges during his time working as a teacher at Royal Alexandra and Albert School.

Mr Batten pleaded not guilty to 14 offences that include indecent assault, buggery, cruelty to a person under 16 years, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, which included allegations of masturbation and oral sex.

The charges relate to the alleged abuse of more than 15 children from 1971 – 1984.

At the beginning of the court proceedings, prosecutor Siobhan Molloy addressed the jury and said: “You are going to hear name after name after name and date of birth after date of birth and year after year and month after month. It must be remembered that they were boys as they were then – now they are in their late 40s or early 50s – but then they were 11 to 12 up to 14 and 15 years old.”

Ms Molloy added: “It’s the prosecution’s case that Mr Batten effectively, regularly and systematically sexually abused boys and also physically abused those in his contact. Also during the sexual altercations there were some sadistic elements where he would threaten to use a broom handle, coca-cola bottle and filming them.”

Members of the jury also heard that Mr Batten allegedly “cherry picked” boys to groom. He came into the children’s dormitories late at night and also invited boys to his flat alone to drink alcohol.

“[One of the victims] described how some of the pupils were described as his special cherries being invited for special events at his flats. It’s the prosecution’s case that these ‘cherries’ were abused by masturbation and oral sex,” she said “In a police interview on November 5, 2013, Mr Batten admitted that he did have ‘cherries’ but he continues to deny anal sex.”

She added: “[Another of the boys] described how the defendant would remove towels so he could watch children drip dry. Sometimes he described he would be standing there for 20 minutes waiting. Mr Batten then touched [the alleged victim] and fondled his genitals.”

He is also accused of physical assault such as throwing a blackboard rubber, kicking a boy to the ground and hitting a student around his head.

Mr Batten has previously been convicted of sexual abuse to children and was found guilty in April 21,1989. And on March 5, 1999 he was found guilty of nine charges of indecent assault and was sentenced to three years.

The trial continues.