Disgraced ex-headteacher dies hours after sentencing

The disgraced school owner and former headteacher at the centre of Norfolk's biggest ever child cruelty investigation has died - the day after he was sentenced for his crimes.

The disgraced school owner and former headteacher at the centre of Norfolk's biggest ever child cruelty investigation has died - the day after he was sentenced for his crimes.

Last night, victims of George Robson said they could feel no sympathy for the man whose actions still haunt them. At least a dozen Banham Marshalls ex-pupils intend to press ahead with civil claims against Robson's estate, the EDP can reveal.

Siobhan Young, 38, who attended the college in the late 1970s and early 1980s but whose allegations against Robson never reached court, is among them. She said she has endured a "life sentence".

"I am still angry and I can't see beyond that. He never accepted the long-term harm he caused us and will now never be forced to face up to what he did. At least some justice was done before he died but we still intend to seek amends by claiming against his estate," she added.

Robson, 66, of The Street Bridgham, was found guilty of five counts of cruelty against children two years ago.

However, his catalogue of abuse could not be reported until last month when a final charge of indecent assault was dropped at Norwich Crown Court.

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On Monday, he was given a two-

year suspended sentence and it is understood he died within 24 hours.

It is believed Robson's estate is worth several hundred thousands pounds as Eagle House School for autistic children uses the former college site, leasing the buildings and grounds from his family.

The court heard how Robson presided over a "culture of fear" at the special school near Diss, with pupils being goaded into fighting one another and others being forced to eat their own vomit. Much of the abuse dates back to the 1970s and 1980s.

Robson was not at court for his sentencing as doctors said he was at "end-stage" heart failure.

Explaining his absence, Judge Paul Downes said: "This is not a question... of medical evidence being used to avoid the consequences… he is clearly in a very bad state."

Paul Conrathe, chief executive officer of the Eagle House Group, would not discuss terms or conditions of the lease agreement with the Robsons, but stressed his organisation has an excellent reputation for its work with autistic children and has no association with the disgraced college.

Mr Conrathe said: "There is a family connection through the lease in that the Robson family own the freehold and we would be renting from the family. George Robson had no involvement whatsoever in the running of Eagle House School and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any conduct that would harm vulnerable children".

Anthony Robson, 63, of Mill Road, Banham, and David Clarke, 56, also of Mill Road, Banham, were also convicted of child cruelty. Anthony Robson is still awaiting his sentence. Clarke has already received a

12-month suspended sentence.

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