London

Two cleared of London Catholic school abuse

A priest and a maths teacher have been cleared of sexually assaulting a boy at a Catholic school in West London.

Fr David Pearce, 69, and John Maestri, 72, of Chatham, Kent, were found not guilty of abusing the pupil at St Benedict's junior school in Ealing.

The two men denied the charges relating to assaults alleged to have taken place between September 1977 and July 1978.

The pair were acquitted by a jury of eight women and four men following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court.

Fr Pearce is still serving a five-year jail term passed in October 2009 for a series of indecent assault and sex abuse crimes committed between 1972 and 2008 involving five pupils.

Disqualified

Maestri, of King Edward's Road, Chatham, had the official title "master of discipline" while at the school.

He was jailed for 30 months in December 2003 after admitting three counts of indecently assaulting schoolboys under 16 between 1980 and 1984.

He signed the sex offenders' register for life and was disqualified from working with children.

In June 2005 he was given a community rehabilitation order for indecently assaulting a boy under 14 between 1982 and 1983.

And in January 2009, when yet more victims emerged, he was convicted of indecently assaulting a boy under 14 between 1979 and 1981.

He was given a two-year prison term suspended for two years.

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