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Man sentenced to four years for historic child sexual assault – Hoddesdon

6 Nov 2020
  • Robert Buckley, aged 76, of Upper Marsh Lane, Hoddesdon, was sentenced to four years in prison

  • He was found guilty of an historic sexual assault on a girl under the age of ten in the mid-1980s

  • He was convicted after the victim came forward to police in December 2018

A former teacher who was found guilty of an historic sexual assault on a child that happened in the mid-1980s has today (Friday 6 November) been sentenced to four years in prison.

Robert Buckley, aged 76, of Upper Marsh Lane, Hoddesdon, appeared at Huntingdon Crown Court in Cambridgeshire after previously being found guilty of one count of indecent assault on a child.

Buckley assaulted the girl, who was under the age of ten at the time, in the summer of 1985. He was deputy head teacher at Sheredes Primary School and the victim was a pupil, however the assault did not take place at the school.

Buckley left the school in the mid-1990s and his crime did not come to light until 2018, when the victim – now a woman aged in her 40s – reported it to police.

An investigation was carried out, fully supported by the team at Sheredes Primary School. Buckley was later arrested and charged.

The inquiry found that more recently he was also a well-known volunteer at the Boys’ Brigade in Hoddesdon. He was immediately suspended from the organisation after the allegation was made and his membership was cancelled when he was convicted earlier this year.

The Boys’ Brigade has fully supported the police investigation and to date, there have been no further disclosures in relation to this case.

Investigator Michelle Trussell, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Joint Child Protection Investigation Team, said: “Buckley grossly abused his position of trust when he had a duty to protect the victim from harm.

“Today, she has finally seen her abuser held to account for his despicable crime and I truly hope this gives her a sense of closure now, after carrying this with her for more than three decades.

“Historic offences, by their very nature, are challenging to investigate but I want to reassure any victim of child abuse that we will always listen to them, however long ago the crime happened.”

Buckley will also serve an additional year on licence once he is released from prison.

If you have been a victim of historic sexual abuse, you can report it to police on the non-emergency number 101, or report it online at herts.police.uk/report.

Anyone in Hertfordshire who has experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence can contact the Herts Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for practical and emotional support. The centre can arrange face-to-face support, sexual health referrals, and provide forensic medical examinations for those who want them.

To contact Herts SARC, call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 178 4448, email Herts.SARC@nhs.net or visit www.hertssarc.org.

This service is open to everyone – men, women and young people, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

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