Care worker jailed for historical sex attacks on young girls at boarding school near Grantham
A former care worker at a Lincolnshire boarding school for vulnerable children was today (Monday) jailed for four years after being convicted of historical sex attacks on three young girls.
Raymond Longley was employed at Stubton Hall School, north of Grantham, where he and his wife were the main overnight carers for children who boarded.
Claire Howell, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that the couple lived in a flat between the girls’ and boys’ dormitories at the school which is close to the border between Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
She said Longley entered the girls’ sleeping accommodation on a number of occasions, targeting vulnerable girls who he believed to be asleep and sexually assaulted them.
Two of the girls later complained to the headteacher but were not believed and instead were punished.
Miss Howell said “The defendant and his wife were the main live-in carers overnight and so he has unfettered access to the girls in their bedrooms at night. He had a unique position of trust not only dealing with children who were vulnerable but were away from home and asleep at night.
“These children went for help to the headteacher. Not only were they not believed but they were punished for telling what was the truth.”
One of the victims, in an impact statement, told the court: “He ruined my life. I couldn’t have relationships. I have never had a boyfriend because of what happened to me at school. I still have nightmares about what he did to me.”
Another victim said she made a fresh start and moved away from the area when she left school but still has nightmares and has been affected by the court case.
Longley, now 86, of Back Lane, Caythorpe, near Grantham, was convicted by a jury of four charges of indecently assaulting girls under the age of 13 and dates between 1983 and 1986. He denied the charges.
Today (Monday) he was jailed for four years and placed on the sex offenders register for life.
Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight said: “These girls were targeted because they were particularly vulnerable. This was a gross breach of trust.
“When two of the girls gained the courage to complain to the headteacher they were disbelieved. They were not protected but punished.
“You claimed the girls were making malicious allegations because you had punished one of them for misbehaving the day before.”
The Judge commended the work of the senior police investigating officer Rick Hatton and Det Cons Helen McGill and Melissa Ablett.
She said: “The investigation was wide-ranging and difficult. It is clear that the officers worked tirelessly.”
Stuart Lody, in mitigation, said Longley had no previous convictions and served in the Army and worked as an ambulance driver before he and his wife began working at Stubton Hall.
He said Longley was a popular member of staff among some of the other children who spoke highly of him.
Another man, David Taylor, 71, from Brayford Wharf North, Lincoln, appeared at Lincoln District Magistrates Court on September 7, 2020, where he pleaded not guilty to a number of charges relating to Stubton Hall School. The charges relate to indecent assault on a girl, rape of a female under the age of 16 years and assault, ill-treat, neglect, abandon a child or young person to cause unnecessary suffering or injury.
Taylor worked at the school between 1975 and 1995. He held the position of deputy headmaster between 1982 to 1995.
Following a five-week trial at Lincoln Crown Court between May 24 and June 24, 2021, Taylor was found guilty of three counts of rape, four counts of indecent assault on a girl and two counts of assault/ill-treatment/neglect of a child or young person and was sentenced to a total of 19 years and six months in prison. He was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and also placed on the Barred List. The charges to which he was found guilty relate to five victims.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Richard Hatton said he hoped the convictions would help the victims of these crimes in some way. “The courage to come forward and be prepared to give evidence in court should never be underestimated,” said Mr Hatton.
“We have completed a detailed and through investigation but this was only possible because of the evidence given by others. I want to pay tribute to the victims and witnesses whose evidence has brought these two men to face justice.”
A police investigation began when in 2016 a complaint of sexual assault was made by a former pupil of Stubton Hall School. A detailed criminal investigation by Lincolnshire Police revealed evidence of non-recent sexual offences, assault and ill-treatment by the two former members of staff against a number of pupils at the school. During the investigation 463 school pupils were identified and 340 traced to a last known address. Of these 203 former pupils engaged with the investigation team.
Stubton Hall School opened in 1952 as a boy’s school and became a school for boys and girls in 1982. It was predominantly a boarding school but did have a mixture of boarders and day students up until 2003 when it closed permanently. Some children resided at the school but attended other schools in the area. The school was a local authority maintained special education needs school, under the governance of Lincolnshire County Council.
The current owners of Stubton Hall are in no way connected to the inquiry.