Robert Neill, former housemaster at Kennet School convicted of 10 offences and sentenced to 21 years

Robert Neill A school PE teacher who chose vulnerable boys “who took his fancy” to prey on and sexually abuse has been jailed for 21 years for raping a pupil.

Robert Neill’s wife blew him a kiss across the courtroom as the 63-year-old was led down to the cells on Wednesday, March 9, after a judge described how he had left “an indelible mark” on his victims, some as young as 11.

The paedophile, of Park Lane, Thatcham and who was a housemaster at the school, was sent to prison for more than two decades for sexually assaulting boy pupils where he worked for 17 years.

He worked at Kennet School in Thatcham, when he carried out the severe sexual acts, which included a rape.

Sitting at Reading Crown Court Judge Angela Morris described the 63-year-old as a man who preyed on the “youngest” and “most vulnerable” pupils at his school to carry out his abuse which left an indelible mark upon them.

The teacher would single out the youngest boys in their academic years and also naughty pupils before demanding that they paid him a visit in his office.

Acting as the head of St Michael’s House at the Berkshire school, he would inflict his abuse during the office visits within the grounds of the school.
Kevin Barry, prosecuting, told Reading Crown Court: “His victims have suffered a devastating chain of harm which had a significant degree of planning which was a massive abuse of trust.

He was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the rape of a boy who was aged under 16 and dealt further sentences which the judge confirmed would be served concurrently to the lengthy rape jail term.

For four counts of indecent assault on a male person under the age of 16 he was sentenced each to 20 months.

For the two counts of indecency with a child under 14 years, the count of rape of a boy under 16 years the count of indecent assault on a male person aged 12 or 13 years old and two counts of indecency with a child aged 12 or 13 years old he was sentenced to six years.

He was also sentenced to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

If you have been affected by anything written in today’s blog, or you need some advice and support, then you can call the legal team here at Verisona Law. We have many years’ experience in sensitively handling many cases like these and we would be happy to help.


Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law

Client testimonials

"Lovely, friendly, great people. Very understanding too and very good at what they do. Very happy with the result, many thanks again Lisa and everyone involved in my case."
Anonymous

"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse 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."

Anonymous


Make an
enquiry