Norfolk

'Spanking headmaster' David Tuohy found dead in Thames

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

A former headmaster found guilty of sex attacks at a Norfolk school has been found dead in the River Thames.

David Tuohy, 83, of Oxford, took charge of Eccles Hall, a special school at Quidenham, in the 1970s.

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

He had been due to be sentenced but was found dead in the river at Oxford on Tuesday. The death is not suspicious.

Norfolk Police said Tuohy's victims had been told.

His body was reported near Osney Lock and he was declared dead at the scene after he was pulled from the water.

'Sexual gratification'

During the trial, the court heard Tuohy was "obsessed with spanking".

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."

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 abuse in the 1970s reported Tuohy to police.

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

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