Peter Denton, a former Kirklees Principal Residential Child Welfare Officer at Combs Hill School, Hall Lane, Thornhill, Dewsbury has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for sexual abuse of a boy over a period of nine years.

The victim was eight years old when the abuse started. The Court heard how Denton, “groomed and physically assaulted him on one occasion.” The assault had the effect of ensuring the victim’s silence and enabling Denton to, “sexually abuse him without fear of discovery.”

The Judge, Guy Kearl QC said, “the boy was vulnerable coming from a background of neglect and you took advantage of his vulnerability.” The Judge went on to say, “during the remainder of the boy’s time at the school, some six to seven years, Denton had touched the youngster sexually on occasions and on one occasion performed oral sex on him in a bath. When the boy reached fifteen Denton had taken the boy to his home and again touched him after laying him on a bed and rubbing against him. It was an aggravating feature that this happened at a residential school attended by children who needed assistance because of their situation.”

Last January, Steven Scholes a former teacher at Combs Hill, was jailed for sex offences which were committed against pupils of Combs Hill School and Royds Edge School in Meltham. On the 9th May 2016 he was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to all the charges against him.

Jordans Solicitors are representing victims of abuse at Royds Edge School in Meltham as well as other clients who have suffered abuse at schools and organisations. Where a person abuses their position of trust and commits an act of assault a claim may be possible. We would encourage anyone affected to contact Jordans and pursue a civil claim


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