Roger Dodds aged 81 years has been jailed for 16 years for forcing teenagers to engage in sexual acts to get grant payments. He also indecently assaulted his colleagues whilst working for the Council’s Education Department between the years of 1975 and 1993.
In the 1970’s Dodds worked for Sheffield Council and was responsible for providing grants to students. It was during this time that he abused his position of power by demanding that students performed sexual acts in return for receiving their grant. One of the victim’s statements which was read out in Court said, “His left hand started to feel its way into my right jeans pocket. When that started to happen I just became frozen and unable to move. He went on to say that the abuse, “made him feel shame and disgust,” he was unable to tell anyone for 20 years.
Dodd’s victims told the Council, Dodd’s employers, about their complaints and allegations. There were two internal investigations held, but he was never challenged by the Council. In the 1980’s the Council received further complaints, but this time the Council just moved him to another department which involved working with Schools.
In 1993 further allegations about Dodd’s behaviour were made. There was a second investigation and Dodds left the employment of the Council with an early retirement package and an enhanced pension.
Sheffield Council has stated that they are, “deeply sorry” in response to accusations that they failed to act appropriately in response to the complaints they received.
At the Sheffield Crown Court on the 3rd February 2017, five victims heard Dodds sentenced. One victim told the BBC, “he held the Council responsible for the abuse he had suffered.” “I was the victim of a really horrible man. The Council are responsible. I even think at times that the Council are more responsible then he was. They allowed it to happen. Everyone knew. Everyone in the Council knew but they chose to do nothing about it.”
South Yorkshire Police said, “ Dodds sentencing marked the culmination of a lengthy police investigation into his behaviour over several decades.” In 2008, Dodds was interviewed and charged following complaints but the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not the take any action.
In 2014 following new allegations, the CPS reviewed the earlier complaints they had received and a decision was made to charge him with all the allegations they had received.
Jayne Ludlam, Executive Director for Sheffield’s Council’s Department for Children, Young People and Families made a statement following the Court’s decision, “We are deeply sorry that Dodds committed these offences whilst working at Sheffield City Council decades ago. We are glad to see that finally such cases of historic abuse are coming before the Courts, justice is being done and victims are having their voices heard. Despite the fact that this happened more than a quarter of a century ago, we have accepted responsibility and would never defend the indefensible.”
Jordans Solicitor’s Abuse Team is committed to helping victims of abuse. We have helped many victims to recover compensation and achieve justice against those who were responsible for their traumatic experiences. If you require any information about making a civil claim please contact us on our dedicated number 0800 9555 094.