Soldier had bullet in gun ‘ready to shoot himself’ after sex monster teacher ‘wrecked his life’
A victim of a former teacher who carried out a campaign of sexual abuse against a string of boys said he was almost driven to suicide, a court was told.
The victim, an ex-soldier, said he had a bullet in his gun ready to take his life while deployed with the Army.
Paul Ruth indecently touched six children aged between about 10 and 16 over almost two decades.
Ruth was known by some boys as “Paedo Paul” because he would put his hand on the knee of children in his car, a court heard.
He worked as a teacher at Plymouth schools – though the offences he was sentenced for yesterday did not involve his former posts
One of the victims was speaking as Ruth was jailed for 12 years.
The victim told Plymouth Crown Court that the abuse had “wrecked his life” in a video statement shown to court.
He added: “I had a round in my chamber but my friend disarmed me. That is how close it got. It has wrecked my life.”
The man said that he found he could not talk to anyone about what had happened and turned to drink in his 20s. He added that his trauma had contributed to the end of his marriage.
But nobody knew of the true extent of the abuse Ruth carried out at his city home at the time – with trusting parents allowing their boys to visit.
Victims themselves were too scared or embarrassed to come forward until years later. Several bravely confronted their tormentor to see him jailed.
One man shouted out “rot in hell” and another said “I hope you rot in there” as Ruth was taken away.
Ruth went on to abuse one boy after another, taking advantage of their vulnerabilities and the poverty of their families, often buying them gifts.
Judge Peter Johnson jailed Ruth for 12 years, ruling he was a danger to children.
He will not be considered for release for eight years, rather than be freed automatically at the usual half-way point.
The parole board will only free him if he is no longer considered dangerous and Ruth will remain under licence for six years after his release.
One victim said outside court: “I am just glad we came forward. I am glad he is not on the loose anymore.”
Judge Johnson told Ruth: “You have caused almost unimaginable harm to your victims.
“They had the courage to come forward and expose to the public what you had done to them and to describe how their lives had been affected by your actions, in some cases they were driven to utter despair.
“The impact of your actions will be felt by generations to come.”
He added that Ruth portrayed himself as a “selfless helper of the young” when in fact he exploited his position to abuse vulnerable children.
The court heard four statements from the victims, all of whom said they had problems trusting people.
Ruth, who sat with his head in his hands through most of the hearing, asked to be locked up back in November so he could start serving his sentence.
He later pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child under 13 by touching, 12 counts of indecent assault on a male under 16, and committing an act of gross indecency in front of a child under 14.
Ruth also admitted charges of buggery and attempted buggery. All the charges, some of which represent multiple offences, happened between 1991 and 2009.
Ruth was originally charged with 30 offences after a police investigation called Operation Felspar.
Ruth must sign the sex offender register for life and has been handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order preventing contact with anyone aged under 16.
Man pleads guilty to raft of child sex offences
A man has pleaded guilty to a raft of child sex offences committed in Plymouth dating back to 1991.
Paul Ruth, aged 52 From Finnis Road, Amesbury, Wiltshire, faced 26 counts at Plymouth Crown Court including 19 of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16, two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual assault of a boy under the age of 13 by touching, one count of attempted rape, two counts of rape, and one count committing an act of gross indecency in front of a child under 14.
All the above charges are linked to allegations of offences which took place between 1991 and 2009 in and around Plymouth.
Standing in the dock, Ruth pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child under 13 by touching, 12 counts of indecent assault on a male under 16, and committing an act of gross indecency in front of a child under 14.
He pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault by touching and seven counts of indecent assault by touching.
In addition Ruth pleaded not guilty to rape or attempted rape, but instead submitted pleas of guilty to buggery and attempted buggery respectively.
Ruth’s pleas were accepted by the prosecution and he will stand trial for the alleged rape and alleged attempted rape of boys under 16 years old on January 23, 2018.