Former Worcestershire teacher found guilty of sexually abusing pupils in the 1980s

Ex-teacher Jonathan O'Brien convicted of sex abuse Former teacher Jonathan O'Brien was found guilty of carrying out a series of sex offences at the two schools former teacher has been convicted of carrying out a series of sex offences while he worked at private schools. Jonathan O'Brien, 55, of Bosham, West Sussex, was found guilty of 17 counts of indecent assault and five of gross indecency at Chichester Crown Court. Jurors cleared him of four assaults on the direction of the judge, who said two other charges were to lie on file. he court heard he targeted boys aged 10 to 16 at schools in Worcestershire and Oxfordshire in the 1980s. During the trial, jurors heard O'Brien abused "clever, slim, blond, blue-eyed, sporty boys" at Winterfold House School in Worcestershire, and The Oratory School in Oxfordshire. 'Photography lessons' Prosecution lawyers said O'Brien was a "charming, convivial and attractive man outside of the school environment" and someone who would "easily dazzle those he met". The court heard the teacher abused pupils at Winterfold in a darkroom under the guise of giving photography lessons.

But jurors heard it was "ideal" for O'Brien's purposes because it had a lock on the door and a warning sign outside. After the hearing, Det Sgt Steve ook, from West Mercia Police, said O'Brien had engaged in systematic abuse over a long period of time. He said: "In doing so, he also disgracefully abused the position of trust he was in and that was particularly relevant in this case as he was teaching in boarding schools where the children were away from their families and had nowhere else to go. "He exploited their vulnerability and they did not feel at that time that they could come forward because... they wouldn't be believed. Now they are extremely relieved that this has come out into the open." Sentencing was adjourned to 7 February while reports are prepared If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."


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