School carer spared jail for cruelty

The former head of care at a Norfolk boarding school was spared jail today after he was convicted of child cruelty offences. Anthony Robson, 63, stood by and watched as pupils at Banham Marshalls College, formerly the Old Rectory, fought each other and forced one child to eat his own vomit, Norwich Crown Court heard.

The former head of care at a Norfolk boarding school was spared jail today after he was convicted of child cruelty offences.

Anthony Robson, 63, stood by and watched as pupils at Banham Marshalls College, formerly the Old Rectory, fought each other and forced one child to eat his own vomit, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Robson, known to pupils at Tony Thomas, was last month convicted of three counts of child cruelty and appeared before the court today for sentence.

His brother George Robson, 66, the school's owner and head, was convicted of five counts of child cruelty two years ago.


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Ill health prevented him from attending court last month to be sentenced. He was given a two-year suspended term in his absence, but died the following day.

Sentencing Anthony Robson, Judge Paul Downes said he accepted he had been less involved than his brother in the abuse and that he too was in ill health.

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“Today I have to look at the question of how parity can be achieved,” he said.

“In my view it would offend the sense of fairness of any reasonable person if this defendant was punished any more severely that the headmaster because this person was in a better state of health.”

Sentencing Robson to 12 months in prison, suspended for one year, Judge Downes told him he should be ashamed of his crimes for the rest of his life.

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