exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Teacher who abused boys is sent to prison


The Evening Press

A former care worker and sports master at a North Yorkshire Barnardo's home was yesterday jailed for 39 months for sexually abusing young boys.

Malcolm Stride was said to have groomed vulnerable children he knew were in an impossible situation to become teachers' pets for his own sexual gratification.

Sentencing him at Hull Crown Court, Judge Tom Cracknell told him: "What you gave in one hand as a caring teacher, you took away with the other."

Stride, 53, now living in Charlton Road, Shirley, Southampton, was convicted by a jury of eight offences of indecent assault on four boys aged between 12 and 15 from 1976 to 1984.

He was then a house parent and sports master at Barnardo's Spring Hill Home at Ripon.

Throughout his trial at York Crown Court in November last year he denied anything sexually improper took place but he could offer no real explanation as to why the boys had told the police nearly 25 years on that he abused them.

His four victims, now grown men, sat at the back of the court as sentence was passed on their old school master.

Afterwards solicitor Bilhar Uppal said on their behalf: "It was recognised by the judge that Stride committed a gross breach of trust.

"His insistence of innocence was further abuse. The sentence of three years and three months' imprisonment is recognition of what was done by Stride but it is a fraction of what each of us has suffered over the last 20 plus years.

"Only now has somebody finally listened."

Throughout the trial several boys said that although they made complaints at the time nothing was done and after Stride's conviction Barnardo's made a general apology to all victims of child abuse in care homes.

But Mr Uppal said: "We now look to Barnardo's to provide an unreserved apology to each and every one abused by Stride."

Judge Cracknell said: "It must be said and realised that people like you, social workers, teachers and youth leaders, will go to prison if they abuse their position to obtain sexual gratification."

He added: "You were, in many respects, a parent of these boys. They were vulnerable and needed special care and I have no doubt that much of what you did for them was admirable. But what you gave with one hand you took away with the other.

"Their lives were already disfigured but you gratified yourself by befriending some of them only in order to later betray. You knew they were in an impossible situation.

"They did not complain too much because no one would believe them. It was a gross breach of trust."

During his trial Stride was said to have made young boys into teacher's pets, and even made one captain of both the football and cricket teams so he would keep silent about indecent touching.

The offences were said to have taken place in various rooms at the home, including the bathroom, and one boy told the court he used to run into the garden dripping wet after a bath to escape Stride's sexual advances.

Stride insisted the stories had been made up and denied that any of the children were groomed or that he had favourites he manipulated to become compliant.

After the verdict John Tebbett, director of children's services for Barnardo's in Yorkshire, said their heart went out too each person who had suffered at the school in the past.

He said: "Any child that has been abused in residential care has been let down. What these proceedings have shown is that no organisation can be 100 per cent safe."

2000 Jan 6