Norfolk

'Spanking' headmaster David Tuohy guilty of sex abuse

David Tuohy
Image caption David Tuohy was headmaster of a school in Norfolk that catered for pupils with special needs

A former headmaster who was "obsessed with spanking" has been found guilty of sex attacks at a Norfolk school.

David Tuohy, 83, who now lives in Oxford, took charge of Eccles Hall, a special school, in the 1970s.

At Norwich Crown Court he was found guilty of 15 counts of indecent assault on five boys with special needs aged as young as 10.

Judge Stephen Holt granted bail and said Tuohy would return to the court for sentencing on 13 March.

He was found not guilty of four serious indecent assaults and two counts of indecent assault.

Prosecutor Andrew Shaw said: "You may think from the evidence presented he had a particular deviant sexual fascination with the bottoms of very young boys."

'Sexual gratification'

Tuohy liked to discipline boys who came to the school from different parts of the UK and found themselves alone, isolated and separated from their families, the court heard.

"As one of the people charged with the duty of caring for these children, he abused the trust placed in him and used these children for his own sexual gratification," Mr Shaw said.

Pupils at the boarding school had found life difficult in mainstream education, the court heard.

The attacks came to light when a man who suffered the abuse in the 1970s reported Tuohy to the police.

As a result of the publicity several other victims came forward.

Det Con Faith Morris said of the man who reported Tuohy: "He has been left shattered by his experience and has had to receive medical treatment to help him cope with what happened.

"All the victims suffered years of abuse at the hands of Tuohy and it has taken an enormous amount of courage for them all to speak to the police and stand up in court and give evidence."

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