Kenneth Francis 72 a former boarding school choirmaster at Widford Lodge Boarding School in Chelmsford has been jailed for 12 years, having been found guilty of 15 counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency of boys who were all under the age of 16 years.

Francis assaulted his victims at Widford Lodge Boarding School in Chelmsford during the 1970s and attacks also took place at his then home in Boreham, with him giving alcohol to some of his victims.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Francis touched boys’ genitals and told one of them: “This is our secret.” And how he had kissed pupils during one-to-one lessons before touching their genitals. One of the victims said he had been abused beneath the school stage then given rewards by the choirmaster, which he told police were “for my performance under the stage”.

Judge David Turner QC said at sentencing:

“Behind the facade of competency, respectability and uprightness you hid a dark paedophile inclination which was to blight the life of those boys and leave a profound legacy of psychological damage.”


Jordans Solicitors represent numerous claims for historic child abuse and have successfully achieved compensation for the victims of abuse. We have an experienced team of Solicitors that specialise in the sensitive area of historical abuse. Our team are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. If you would like free, confidential advice then please call a member of the team on 0800 9555 094 or request a from our website, and we will call you at a convenient time for that suits you.

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