Friday 1 March 2013

Top UN Official guilty of child abuse

A top figure at the United Nations started a four year jail term today for the sexual abuse of a boy while he was a teacher more than twenty years ago.
Mark Standish, 48, was a tutor at a notorious boarding school in the late 1980s which came to national prominence when two of its teachers and its owner were jailed for 10 years for grave sexual offences against its pupils.
Standish gave evidence for the prosecution against Crookham Court School owner Philip Cadman and two other teachers - William Printer and Anthony Edmonds - at the original trial in 1991.

Former teacher Mark Standish was today jailed for four years at Reading Crown Court after being found guilty of the sexual abuse of a pupil more than twenty years ago
Former teacher Mark Standish was today jailed for four years at Reading Crown Court after being found guilty of the sexual abuse of a pupil more than twenty years ago

But he remained under the radar of the police until his victim, who was aged 14 at the time of the offences in 1987 and is now aged 38 years, came forward.
Standish was forced to resign from his £120,000 post in Kosovo as head of security sector programme with the UN when he was convicted by a jury after a 10 day trial last month.
Standish, who had been living with his civil partner, showed no emotion as he was sentenced by Judge Stephen John at Reading Crown Court today.
The court heard that Standish took up the post of teacher at Crookham Court School, in Thatcham, Berkshire, and immediately gained the trust of the boy’s parents.

    The jury heard Standish targeted his vulnerable victim, who he taught history and drama, grooming him with cigarettes and alcohol.
    The school adopted a pocket money system where parents would give teachers money at the start of a term for their child.
    Standish allowed the victim to spend more than he had and later made him work to pay him back - threatening to tell his parents if the teenager didn’t do as he instructed.
    He made him perform physical exercise in his own living quarters at the school - eventually making him do it naked.
    The court was told how Standish then progressed to sexually abusing the boy - with his assaults getting worse over time. 
    When the school hit the headlines in the late 80s after the abuse scandal broke, Standish - to cover his own back and stop his victim reporting him - advised his parents to withdraw him from the school.
    He even gave evidence against his colleagues in the abuse trial to stay on side with police. The school closed shortly after the scandal.
    Sentencing Standish to four years in prison, Judge John said: 'The background to this case is of importance.
    'You moved to this school as your first teaching position. The school became notorious in the 90s when three men, the owner and two teachers, were convicted of abusing boys at the school.
    'They received sentences of 10 years imprisonment. Their offences were graver than yours.
    'You gave evidence at their trial in 1991 that you were aware from an early stage of your time at the school of a sadistic and brutal regime.
    'You advised his parents to withdraw him from the school so he would not return and make complaints about you.
    'You continued when you left the school in a libel hearing against a national newspaper in 1999 forcing him to sign a statement.
    'It took him 20 years to confront what you did to him.
    'In his witness impact statement he talks of fear and embarrassment at the time. He has been unable to form relationships with girls. He suffered sexual problems for many years later, lack of confidence and suffers the effects of alcohol.
    'You have had a useful and impressive career most recently working in Kosovo as head of security sector programme with the UN.
    'You have had a recent stable relationship with another man and entered into a civil partnership.
    'Found in your briefcase whilst you worked at the school were revolting writings and drawings. They were excluded from the jury largely because they were so inflammatory.
    'I have grave concerns about the documents and what they say about you.'
    As well as being jailed for four years, Standish was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and disqualified from working with children.
    Standish, wearing a smart blue suit, showed no emotion as he was led from the dock to the cells.

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