Former Devon headmaster jailed for abuse, Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse images

April 14, 2015 Comments Off on Former Devon headmaster jailed for abuse, Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse images

“The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it assisted in the removal of 31,266 pages last year, compared with 13,182 in 2013.”

Former Devon headmaster and organist jailed for “cruel and shocking” abuse regime on vulnerable school boys

By Exeter Express and Echo  4/12/15

A boarding school teacher has been jailed for 21 years after being found guilty of inflicting a reign of terror over vulnerable boys for two decades.

John Downing took advantage of the children by sexually abusing them after they were sent away to a boarding school in North Devon where he was a teacher and deputy headmaster.

He preyed on boys by sexually abusing them in the classroom, wash rooms, on beach outings and during midnight feasts which he arranged for a select group who he called his ‘Good Boys’.

Downing imposed a regime of fear in which he regularly beat boys with a slipper or wooden coat hanger.

He punished boys who talked after lights out by making them parade naked in the corridor outside their dormitory and encouraged boys on beach trips to walk around in the nude.

Downing, now aged 74, was a teacher and deputy headmaster of Heanton School, near Braunton, North Devon, from its founding in 1968 to its closure in 1985.

The converted rectory was a privately run boarding school for boys aged six to 12, most of whom were sent there by local authorities because they had problems at home.

This meant they had no-one to turn to when they were sexually and physically abused and their secrets remained hidden for years.

Two of them went to the police in the 1990s but officers decided there was not enough evidence. In the years that followed several got in touch over the internet and fresh complaints were investigated by police….

Downing has been the organist at Torrington church for 50 years during which his activities at the school have remained a secret. He went on to be a teacher at schools all over North and Mid Devon before he retired.

Downing, of Warren Lane, Torrington, denied 39 charges of indecent assault or gross indecency against seven boys aged seven to 12 between 1970 and 1985.

He was jailed for 21 years by Judge Graham Cottle who told him that some of his assaults would now be classified as rape….
http://m.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Devon-headmaster-organist-jailed-cruel-shocking/story-26320051-detail/story.html

Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse images  4/13/15
A child abuse watchdog has said it helped identify and remove more than double the number of sexually explicit web pages depicting youngsters in 2014 than in the previous year.

The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it assisted in the removal of 31,266 pages last year, compared with 13,182 in 2013.

It said in many cases, each address contained more than one photo or video.

The figures do not necessarily indicate that illegal activity is increasing.

Instead, they may simply reflect that the charity recently began taking a proactive approach, seeking out child abuse imagery rather than just acting on others’ reports.

It was able to do this after the UK’s four biggest internet service providers committed an extra £1m over four years to fund its efforts.

If the material is hosted overseas, the organisation notifies local authorities and then repeatedly chases up complaints until the material is removed….

The body’s annual report discloses that of the discovered material:
Fewer than 0.3% of the web pages detected were hosted in the UK
56% were hosted in North America
41% were hosted in Europe, including Russia
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32288650

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