A RETIRED priest has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for a series of sex assaults on young boys that took place over four decades.
He is Roger Wakely, aged 73, a former school chaplain at the Bishop Wand C of E School in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, who was sentenced last week on 25 counts of indecent assault on, and two counts of attempted buggery of, boys aged under 16. The earliest was in 1965, the most recent in 1982.
Two of his victims were abused while he was a teacher at Ealing Grammar School, in west London; another was assaulted when he was Rector of St Peter’s, Gaulby, in Leicestershire; and a fourth at Bishop Wand School.
Surrey Police launched an investigation in December 2013 after a former Bishop Wand pupil came forward. Guildford Crown Court heard that Mr Wakely had lured his victim to his office on the pretext of discussing coursework.
Subsequent enquiries led police to identify two further victims targeted between 1964 and 1972, while Mr Wakely was at Ealing. He had used a similar ruse, offences taking place both on school premises and at his home during lunch breaks. He offered the boys money, fish and chips, and an Airfix modelling kit to “keep them quiet”.
The Recorder, Tom Nicholson-Pratt, told Mr Wakely that he had acted for his own sexual gratification with “absolutely no regard for the well-being” of the boys. “They were at school — a place where they should have been safe and looked after by those in pastoral care.”
In a personal statement, the former Bishop Wand pupil said that the assaults had had a significant impact on his education, religious faith, personal life, and marriage. Another survivor experienced difficulties coping with the memory of what the defendant had done.
DC Sara McDowell, who led the Surrey Police investigation, said: “I would like to commend the bravery of all four victims in giving evidence.”