Crookham Court Boarding School

Crookham Court Boarding School, Thatcham, Berks

Paedophile teacher who sued The People for libel is jailed at last

Apr 1 2012 by Nick Dorman, The People

A PAEDOPHILE teacher who sued The People for exposing him 22 years ago has finally been jailed for child sex abuse.

Evil Mark Standish, 48, gave evidence against fellow masters and escaped justice in 1990 – then took us to court for libel.

Now at last he has been ­convicted and sentenced to four years after one of his ­traumatised victims bravely came forward.

Standish’s former pupil Andy Hudson, who was 14 when first abused in 1988, found the ­courage to go to the police in 2010 after seeing a counsellor.

To Andy’s huge relief a jury found Standish guilty of four ­indecent assaults after a 10-day trial. He was also ­banned from ­working with children for life.

Andy said: “My anger says I wish the jail sentence was longer but that’s the judge’s decision.

“I came forward to stop this from happening to others. I wanted him to be stopped from abusing more people and that’s what we’ve got, the life ban.

“I feel relief after dealing with this mentally for 20-odd years. I need to try to move on now.”

Vile Standish ordered boys to do ­exercises in the nude – ­a punishment he called ­“naked ­beasting”. Andy ­recalled: “I was so scared and didn’t know what to do. I just tried to block what happened from my mind. I was ashamed.”

A 1980s People investigation ­uncovered years of appalling abuse at private Crookham Court boarding school, in Thatcham, Berks. Three of its ­teachers were jailed in 1990 but Standish slipped through the net, ­testifying against the other ­abusers. He even exploited the ­scandal by ­writing a book about the ­hellish school. It was titled Suffer The Little Children.

His libel action against The People was ­successful but he ­recovered no damages. He left teaching to work for the United Nations. Standish, of Durham, had to quit his £120,000 UN post after he was jailed. Reading Crown Court judge Stephen John told him: “You show no remorse over the suffering.” Former People reporter Brian Radford, whose page one scoop exposed Standish in 1990, said: “I’m ­ecstatic to see him finally face justice after so long.”

Childline founder Esther Rantzen, who also spotlighted the abuse on TV’s That’s Life! told The People: “I ­congratulated Andy and told him that through his bravely revealing the ­appalling crimes Standish ­committed, many other ­children will have been protected.”

Andy, 38, who lives with his second wife and three children in Liverpool, said: “It makes you wonder how many more victims are out there.”

The People 01/04/12

Daily Mail 11/02/14

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