St Paul’s Cathedral School, City of London
St Paul’s Cathedral School master sexually abused boys and created ‘atmosphere of latent homosexuality’
Stephen Douglas-Hogg, who is serving a prison sentence for sexually abusing pupils at a prestigious boarding school
A schoolmaster sexually abused pupils at a prestigious boarding school, a court heard today.
Stephen Douglas-Hogg, 52, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2009 after admitting indecently assaulting five boys at St Paul’s Cathedral School for choirboys in the 1980s.
Following his sentence in May 2009, a number of other former pupils came forward to say they had also suffered abuse from Douglas-Hogg, telling how he would inspect pupils at shower time and creep into their dormitories at night.
They also claimed the schoolmaster involved his former colleague and partner Jane Violaris, 49, in creating an ‘atmosphere of intimidation and latent homosexuality’.
The history and languages master, of Filey, North Yorks, sexually groomed his ‘favourites’ at St Paul’s Cathedral School where he taught during the 1980s.
The court heard how he controlled the boys’ daily activities through fear, and supervised their bath times.
One of the boys claimed he was raped by Douglas-Hogg when he was nine years old. Others described him as ‘schizophrenic’ and a ‘sexually misguided lunatic’.
One victim said: ‘The behaviour of Mr Douglas-Hogg went on unnoticed by many people and he was pretty much able to act freely, almost like the school was his kingdom and we were pretty much powerless to do anything about it.’
At Southwark Crown Court in 2009, Judge Michael Gledhill QC labelled Douglas-Hogg a ‘paedophile who used his authority to strike fear into his victims, who were too afraid to report what happened.
The school sits next to the cathedral in central London, and has a small number of choristers boarding.St. Paul’s Cathedral has close ties with the school for choirboys, where the abuse took place in the 1980s
Each boy is selected for his singing ability and remains at the school from the ages of seven to 13, singing daily in the cathedral choir, until their voices break. Places at the private school are highly prized among parents.
Douglas-Hogg, who taught English, Latin and ancient history, and Violaris, a geography teacher, were the two live-in housemasters and had bedrooms on the top floor of the three-storey dormitory.
Violaris was cleared last year on the direction of a judge at the Old Bailey.
Douglas-Hogg was due to face a retrial on charges of sodomy and indecent assault, but prosecutor Emma Smith announced that the Crown would be offering no evidence on the indictment.
She said there had been ‘significant evidential difficulties’ with two of the alleged victims and problems with a third.
In the absence of those three witnesses the fourth complainant had decided not to give evidence.
Miss Smith said: ‘The Crown took the view there was no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction.’
The judge Mr Recorder Nigel Peters QC told Hogg: ‘That’s the end of this case Mr Douglas-Hogg. You can go back downstairs.’ Douglas-Hogg smiled as he walked slowly down the steps to the cells.
The former choirmaster is now expected to be freed within months after completing the sentence he received after pleading guilty to 13 counts of indecent assault.