Ex Teacher Jailed for Child Attacks

Pirate FM
July 10, 2015

A Bude man who abused children for more than ten years has been jailed.

Jeremy Dowling used to be a teacher before becoming press officer for the Diocese of Truro.

The 77 year old admitted the sex attacks on five youngsters.

On Friday afternoon, a judge at Truro Crown Court sentenced Dowling to seven years behind bars.

Dowling was charged with 15 counts of indecent assault, which happened when he worked as a teacher in Cornwall.

The investigation was launched after five former pupils came forward to complain they were victims of sexual abuse.

Truro Crown Court heard it had happened between 1959 and 1971 during a cricket match, in an attic and storage rooms. One attack took place on a train and another in Dowling's home, while his then pregnant wife was out.

The court also heard how there was an investigation into allegations in 1972 but that it did not come to anything because some parents did not want to put their children through the court process or for the school to get bad publicity. Dowling resigned from his job and no charges were brought.

More than 40 years later, in 2013, a victim came forward and another police investigation was launched.

Detective Constable Grant Mills, Launceston CID, said: "Dowling selected and groomed his victims prior to the abuse starting and subjected them to a prolonged and distressing period of abuse.

"He was in a position of trust during his time at the school and parents of the pupils had entrusted him, as well as the rest of the school, with the care and well-being of their children.

"The victims have lived with this all of their lives, some not even disclosing it to family members up until recently. Others have suffered employment and relationship issues due to the abuse they suffered at the hands of Dowling.

"We welcome the sentence and hope it will help to give some closure to the victims and allow them to move on with their lives. This has been an extremely difficult time for those involved who all showed great courage in coming forward. All of the victims and witnesses have played a critical role in bringing this man to justice.

"We hope this case shows that we take allegations of historical sexual abuse seriously. No matter how long ago crimes were committed, if the victims have the courage to come forward and speak to us, we will listen and investigate thoroughly. They will also be fully supported by dedicated officers."

The Right Reverend Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, said in a statement: "Jeremy Dowling has been sentenced to seven years in jail today after admitting numerous sexual offences. As I said when Mr Dowling first admitted the offences, the news will have been met by a feeling of profound shock by many people, including those who knew him as a reader at St Michaelís Church, Bude, at St Gennyís Church, and through his many activities both as a prominent church member and as the former diocesan communications officer.

"Todayís news, however, will not have come as a shock to his victims who have lived with the knowledge and effects of these offences for many decades. We hope the sentencing today will provide them with some sense of justice being done, and with another step in the healing process. We will continue to hold all those involved in, and affected by, this case in our prayers.

"We would like to continue to reassure people that the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults is always of paramount importance to us. We make every effort to ensure their well-being at every level in the diocese. The church is currently working on new training, legislation and guidance. Our safeguarding work is informed by the voices and experiences of survivors.

"We follow closely the legal requirements of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly CRB) and provide safeguarding training for all those who are involved in work with vulnerable people. Each of our 221 parishes is required to appoint a trained safeguarding officer who is responsible for working alongside their priest to ensure exceptional standards of personal safety and care for everyone involved in any way with our churches and wider community life."








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