• Tue. Jul 26th, 2022

The 49-year-old committed the “grossest breach of trust”, the judge says

Dec 18, 2020

A former geography teacher at Eton College has been jailed for five years for sexually abusing students during visits to their bedrooms at night.
Matthew Mowbray, 49, also downloaded hundreds of indecent images of children, as well as editing students’ faces onto the naked bodies of unknown children on his computer.
He was jailed for five years for 15 offences.
The court heard how he would go to the boys bedrooms at night on the pretext of talking to them about their schoolwork and touch them for sexual gratification.
Mowbray pleaded guilty to six counts of making indecent images of children and one count of voyeurism in relation to a series of secretly filmed images showing a boy getting dressed. He denied nine counts of sexual activity with a child against four boys and one girl.
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Reading Crown Court found him guilty last month on eight of the charges and not guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child against a girl.
Addressing him, Resident Judge Heather Norton QC said: “You knew that what you were doing was wrong but you continued to take the opportunities afforded to you to abuse children for your own gratification.”
She said his position meant he had “ready access to teenage boys who relied upon you, looked up to you and trusted you” and he committed the grossest breach of trust.
The judge said Mowbray’s abuse has affected his victims into adulthood, with former student suffering depression, anxiety, stress, and physical and psychological distress.
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She also noted that his actions were at “the bottom of the scale for this type of offending” which had allowed him to “get away with it for so long”. 
The judge said that if he had committed a more overt sexual act, it is far more likely that it would have been reported.
She added: “As it was, they thought it was weird, odd, unusual, uncomfortable but not such that they would risk their school career by reporting the person who had so much influence over their lives.”
Mobray was also handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.