Former Christ’s Hospital School teacher convicted of historic sex offences

Gary Dobbie. Photo: Sussex Police
Gary Dobbie. Photo: Sussex Police

A former teacher and chaplain at Christ’s Hospital, the independent school near Horsham, has been convicted of a series of historic sexual offences, Sussex Police said today (Friday May 3).

Gary Dobbie, 67, of Rue De La Piale, Albi, France, was convicted of four counts of sexual assaults against a boy more than 25 years ago, at Hove Crown Court today (Friday May 3) after a nine-day trial.

Police said Dobbie had already been convicted in June last year at the same court of 15 offences against eight other youngsters in their teens, while a teacher at the school.

Following the further allegation received by police for the first time during 2018, Dobbie appeared again at the same Court in April this year and pleaded not guilty to four charges that he indecently assaulted the further victim, then in his teens. One of the counts related to multiple occasions.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on June 12 this year for all 19 offences - those of which he was convicted in June last year, and those of which he was convicted on May 3 this year.

Detective Sergeant Karrie Bohanna of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit said: “This latest case involved Dobbie establishing a strong relationship with the male over a period of two to three years whilst alone with him at his own on-site lodgings, where he would give him alcohol and assault him whilst having intimate conversations.”

DS Bohanna said that the court had heard last year in the previous trial that Dobbie had also engaged in systematic grooming and sexual abuse over many years against other youngsters.

“Dobbie preyed on the vulnerabilities of his victims for his own sexual gratification.

“This has been a very complex and sensitive investigation in which the victims of Dobbie showed real courage to speak up.”

Dobbie exploited his position in order to groom and sexually abuse his victims, said DS Bohanna.

She added that the case did not involve current staff or pupils at the school.

“We have had the fullest co-operation from the school throughout this investigation, and they have supported us in providing all the information we requested, which helped us to contact victims, and witnesses.

“Anyone who is the victim of sexual abuse, now or in the past, can contact us at any time, online or by calling 101, and can arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.”

Further advice and sources of support are available on the Sussex Police website.

Dobbie is a registered sex offender for life.