A RETIRED teacher from Cornwall has been jailed for abusing a former pupil whose life has been blighted by the psychological trauma of his assaults.
James Deboyer, from Dobwalls, was a teacher in Somerset in the 1980s when he groomed the 13-year-old and abused him when he was 14 and 15 after inviting him spend weekends at his home.
He also touched the boy during a school trip to Wales, on a visit to Exeter, and got him to lie about his age so he could ply him with drinks at pubs.
Deboyer was a large and dominant figure who exerted power and control over the child through fear which has persisted throughout his life.
A Judge at Exeter Crown Court praised the victim’s courage after he confronted Deboyer in the dock and read out a moving impact statement which set out how the abuse has ruined his life. The victim, now in his 40s, told how he trembled whenever he passed men with similar, bodybuilder physiques as Deboyer and had a panic attack when he was working at a shop and smelled a customer who used the same aftershave as him.
Deboyer, aged 71, of Braeside Park, Dobwalls, denied ten counts of indecent assault but was found guilty by a jury at Taunton Crown Court this week.
He was jailed for nine years by Judge Timothy Rose, sitting at Exeter Crown Court. He was put on the sex offender register for life and barred from working with children indefinitely.
The judge told him:”By your grooming behaviour and aggressive and violent attitude, you created circumstances in which he felt powerless to stop you, until one day he summoned the fortitude to do so.
“You were in a position of trust, responsibility and power over your victim. You were his teacher and took advantage of that position. It was a comprehensive and terrible abuse of trust.
“You knew he had troubles with his relationships at home and took advantage of that. If it is ever appropriate for a pupil to sleep at the home of a teacher, it put you in a position of even more trust and responsibility.
“I have heard the victim personal statement, which it must have taken tremendous courage to read out.
“It showed the devastating outcome over the 33 years or so that he has had to live with the consequences.
“Your actions have blighted his life in the ways he described in his moving statement. I hope the outcome of this case will help his emotional wellbeing and recovery and enable some closure.”
In the impact statement, the victim told how he had buried the secret of the abuse until his own children reached a similar age to that at which it started.
The emotional impact of making his revelations led to the break up of his marriage and loss of his job at a shop.
He has spent £4,500 on counselling and been diagnosed with complex PTSD.
During the trial, the victim told how he was a pupil at a school in East Somerset in the late 1980s when he was befriended and then abused by Deboyer.
He was unhappy at home and his parents allowed him to stay with his teacher at weekends.
The abuse often started when he was asleep and continued after he awoke to find Deboyer in his room.
Deboyer denied that the abuse took place at all and said the victim had come to his home uninvited. He said he was married at the time and is still with his wife.
Miss Emily Cook, defending, said Deboyer and his wife had planned to move to France before his arrest.
She said he fears he is suffering from the early stages of dementia and could spend his final active years in jail.
By Ted Davenport