A FORMER teacher at Barrow Hills School has been sent to prison for “vile” historical sex offences committed between 1979 and 1980 against a junior boarder.

Following an investigation by Surrey Police, Charles Phillip Johnson, 72, of Hall Place Drive, Weybridge, was jailed for a year at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday last week, after pleading guilty to two counts of indecently

assaulting a boy under the age of 14. Johnson,

pictured, was also given a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The offences took place while the victim was a pupil and boarder at the Witley school, when it was owned by a Catholic religious order, the Josephites. The Josephites sold the school in 1990 and since then it has been run by trustees as an independent charity, separate from the Josephites, and changed to become a co-educational day school, admitting non-Catholics. In 2015, Barrow Hills became part of the Bridewell Royal Hospital Charity, which now runs both Barrow Hills and King Edward’s, Witley.

Investigating officer Peter Gahan from Surrey Police’s Safeguarding Investigation Unit, said: “I hope this guilty verdict and sentence will in some way help the victim to come to terms with what’s happened and move on with his life.

“He had the courage to report Johnson’s vile offending and I’d like to commend his bravery in coming forward.

“I would also encourage any victim to come forward to Surrey Police and report any similar incidents by calling 101. Surrey Police treats all allegations of sexual abuse, whether recent or non-recent, extremely seriously. Our priority is victim care and people need to feel confident that if they come forward and report an offence, we can help. We have a dedicated investigation team for such crime and the dedicated unit works to obtain best evidence.

“We also work closely with our partner agencies including the NHS with whom Surrey Police has a Sexual Assault Referral Centre.”

• Advice for those affected by sexual abuse and assault can be found on the Surrey Police website: www.surrey.police.uk/