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Former teacher from King's Lynn jailed for raping pupil

John Aldridge has been jailed for 11 years. Picture: Archant

John Aldridge has been jailed for 11 years. Picture: Archant

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A former teacher from West Norfolk has been jailed for 11 years for raping a pupil at a boarding school in Kent the 1970s.

Maidstone Crown Court heard during his employment at Bedgebury Park School, Goudhurst, which has since closed, John Aldridge actively encouraged the child to visit his flat.

The property was located within the school grounds and he used it to sexually abuse her.

Aldridge, 66, was arrested at his home in King Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk in July 2015, after his victim went to police.

During police interview he denied any wrongdoing and at Maidstone Crown Court pleaded not guilty to a charge of rape.

The case went to trial and Aldridge was convicted by a jury.

He was sentenced too 11 years’ imprisonment on Friday, June 8, when he was also added to the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

After the hearing Det Con Claire Bassett, of Kent police, said: “Aldridge used his position of trust to effectively groom a young and vulnerable teenage girl. He lured her to his flat and then subjected her to the most appalling abuse.

“Sex offenders such as Aldridge wreak incalculable damage on their victims, many who will suffer in silence for years, or throughout their whole lives.

“Thankfully in this case the victim has shown extraordinary courage to come forward, even though Aldridge’s lies have forced her to testify in court and endure further anguish. Today’s sentence will not take away the emotional and physical trauma the victim was made to endure as child, but it will hopefully bring some closure.

“I hope that this case is a reminder that historic allegations of abuse will always be investigated fully by Kent Police and where we have sufficient evidence, offenders will be put before the courts and punished.”
A spokesman for the NSPCC said: “As a teacher Aldridge’s duty was to protect pupils from harm. Instead he abused the trust placed in him by subjecting his victim to a horrific attack in the grounds of a place where she should have felt entirely safe.

“Justice has finally caught up with Aldridge though and that’s down to the courage of his victim in breaking her silence. Hopefully this case will empower other child sex abuse victims to speak out as well.”

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