Roger Dodds: Ex-Sheffield education manager jailed

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Roger DoddsImage source, South Yorkshire Police
Image caption,
Roger Dodds worked in Sheffield City Council's education department

A council education boss who sexually assaulted seven teenagers in his office has been jailed for seven years.

Roger Dodds, 83, forced students to engage in sex acts to secure grant payments between 1974 and 1980 while working for Sheffield City Council.

Sheffield Crown Court heard many of the victims felt "powerless" to stop Dodds for fear they would not get funds.

Dodds, formerly of Cotswold Road, Sheffield, was jailed after admitting 14 counts of indecent assault.

Judge Sarah Wright ordered the sentences would run consecutively to each other.

"You have left a trail of sadness and devastation in very many people's lives," she said.

'Distressing reminder'

The court heard all seven men came forward after seeing media reports about Dodds' previous conviction.

Prosecutor Gordon Stables said one victim described seeing Dodds' face after so many years as a "distressing reminder" of the abuse he had tried to block out.

Mr Stables said each of the victims, one who was just 15 at the time, were sexually abused at Dodds' office in Leopold Street, and in other locations.

He said one boy was assaulted while his mother sat on the opposite side of the desk from himself and Dodds.

Victim felt 'trapped'

In an impact statement one of his victims said: "Meeting you, Roger Dodds, more than four decades ago should have been the key to my future, on reflection and in so many ways it defined it."

Another, who had been a promising sportsman, said he had dropped out of the specialist college he had applied to after one term out of fear of having to apply to Dodds for further funding.

Speaking after the hearing he said: "I felt trapped. It was an expensive school and I thought if I do not do what he wants the I'm not going to secure funding, it was almost like I was prostituting myself."

In mitigation Dodds' barrister Joy Merriam said: "He wants the victims to know that he accepts what he did, he knows what he did and he is extremely sorry for what he did and the pain that he has caused."

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