Sidcot Independent Quaker School, Winscombe, Somerset
Former teacher at £28,000-a-year school jailed for sexually abusing boy, 14, while coaching him at rugby
- Keith Ruby, 35, inflicted years of abuse on to his teenage victim
- He subjected boy to intimate ‘sports massages’ from age of 13
- Ruby, who worked in Winscombe, Somerset, was arrested in 2011
By Leon Watson
PUBLISHED: 17:24, 4 January 2013 | UPDATED: 17:51, 4 January 2013
Former sports teacher Keith Ruby was jailed for a series of sexual offences against a teenage boy
A top public school teacher was jailed today for 10 years after forcing a student to strip naked for ‘physical tests’ before subjecting him to sexual abuse.
Keith Ruby, 35, inflicted years of abuse on to his teenage victim after grooming him while working as a rugby coach at a prestigious £28,000-a-year Quaker school.
He subjected the boy, who was 13 when the abuse began, to intimate ‘sports massages’ and carried out sick ‘physical tests’ to ensure he was in peak condition.
Ruby, who worked at Sidcot School in Winscombe, Somerset, was arrested in 2011 when his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted the abuse to his horrified parents.
The teacher denied the offences but was found guilty of 16 charges of sexual abusing the young boy over a two year period and jailed for 10 years yesterday.
Yesterday Judge Graham Hume Jones said that Ruby was guilty of indulging his own sexual gratification and the offences were an ‘abuse of trust in the highest measure’.
He said: ‘In my judgement from the evidence you were indulging your own personal ambition and your sexual gratification in your relationship with this boy.
‘Not only was this an abuse of trust in the highest measure, it is not hard to imagine the guilt felt by the complainant’s parents on being duped by you.’
The court was told how Ruby forged a close relationship with the schoolboy and his parents, and quickly became his main confidant.
The coach gained the boy’s trust when working at the school, and at a nearby rugby club, which the boy also attended.
He carried out sick ‘physical tests’ on the boy and gave him intimate sports massages in the abuse – which did not take place on school property.
Ian Fenny, prosecuting at Taunton Crown Court, said: ‘He gained complete trust and affection of a young, talented rugby player. He abused the relationship for his own sexual advantage.
‘As a consequence he was able to seduce and groom the victim and that was because he had considerable affection and loyalty towards him.’
The abuse reached its peak when the youngster, aged only 13, revealed that he thought he was gay – it was then Ruby made his victim masturbate with him and perform oral sex.Former teacher Keith Ruby, 35, leaves Taunton Crown Court. He has been jailed for 10 years after forcing a student to strip naked for ‘physical tests’ before subjecting him to horrific abuseSidcot School in Winscombe, Somerset, where Ruby worked. He was then arrested in 2011
On one occasion, while on a rugby trip to Canada, his victim awoke to find Ruby performing oral sex on him, on another Ruby climbed into the bath with the teen and began to fondle him.
Judge Hume Jones heard how Ruby first met his victim, when he was aged only 12, after he became a pupil at Sidcot School and joined the rugby team.
The talented youngster was also a member of his local rugby club where Ruby often coached.The former teacher at Sidcot School in Winscombe, Somerset, gained so much of the teenage boy’s trust that he believed the actions were normal
Manipulative Ruby singled his victim out after he began using techniques such as describing sexual matters to evaluate his reaction and giving him ‘physical tests’ as a ‘cloak to mask his attraction’.
The former teacher, from Biddisham, Somerset, was even warned of his behaviour after other coaches began getting suspicious but this did not stop him.
When his victim admitted he was gay Ruby took his abuse to the next level, asking the school boy if he would masturbate in front on him, with the coach doing likewise.
The teenager complied with Ruby’s requests, which also saw him perform a set act, after he was ‘very much in the thrall and became highly flattered by the attention’.
My Fenny added: ‘To have an adult prepared to engage in sexual actions was something he found alluding.
‘There was a close bond of loyalty but this relationship was exploitative and it was wrong.’
Ruby used this close bond and trust to work himself into a position of trust with the victim’s family, who believed he was giving their son one-on-one sessions to further his rugby career.
He denied all charges brought against him but was found guilty by a majority verdict on December 6.
Ruby was handed 10 years behind bars on the 11 counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child and five counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child.
An initial police investigation was launched in February 2006 after allegation about the abuse came to light but the teenager refused to co-operate, insisting nothing was going on.
The investigation collapsed in July 2006, but a fresh probe was launched in 2011 when the victim finally admitted the abuse to his parents.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Kelvey, who led the investigation, said: ‘Keith Ruby is a manipulative man who insinuated himself into the lives of this victim and his family.
‘Keith Ruby is a manipulative man who insinuated himself into the lives of this victim and his family.’
DI Richard Kelvey
‘He regularly sat at their dinner table and was welcomed into their lives as a trusted friend, teacher and coach to their son.
‘His betrayal and abuse has left them completely distraught.
‘In the most calculating fashion, Ruby groomed his victim to gain complete control over him.
‘Such was his hold, it has taken six years for his victim to disclose the abuse he suffered at Ruby’s hands.
‘The sentence passed by His Honour Judge Jones today will ensure that Keith Ruby is finally behind bars for a minimum of 10 years and, as a managed sex offender for the rest of his life, will never work with children again.’
During sentencing, Judge Graham Hume Jones, said: ‘You abused the trust of a young boy and the trust of his parents, and you brought shame on them.’
The school has said all the necessary safeguarding checks were made on Ruby.
The judge said Ruby was regarded as an ‘ardent and enthusiastic’ sports coach who encouraged the boy in his favourite sport.
He said: ‘But you did this to indulge your sexual interests with this boy. In his evidence, the boy used the phrase ‘hero worship’ to describe his relationship with you.
‘Having gained his trust you then gained the trust of his parents.’
The court heard the boy’s family was ‘duped’ by Ruby who entrusted their son into his care outside school for rugby matches and an overseas trip.
He said: ‘It is not hard to imagine how this boy’s family feel after being duped by you. He worshipped and trusted you, and lied to the police to save your skin.
‘Even then you met him again and abused him.’
A spokesman from the school said: ‘Our safeguarding procedures, both now and at the time of these incidents, are completely compliant and all necessary checks on the suitability of Keith Ruby to work with children were carried out by the school.
‘However, unfortunately no vetting system can guarantee that every paedophile is identified.’