Former head, Malcolm Ford guilty of raping girl

May 10th, 2012

A former primary school headmaster is facing a lengthy prison sentence after being found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting a young girl.

Malcolm Ford, 66, regularly sexually abused the youngster over a period of about three years, a court was told.

The offences happened more than 20 years ago, but the victim did not make a complaint until this year. Ford, who at the time was head of he Heys Primary School in Ashton under Lyne, ameside, had admitted four offences of indecently assaulting the girl when she was 14 or 15, and had admitted similar offences against two other girls of similar age.

None of the girls involved had ever been a pupil at his school. He had vehemently denied four charges of indecently assaulting the youngster when she was under 14, and denied ever having sex with her. But a jury at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court found him guilty of the assault charges and all four counts of rape.

Ford will be sentenced later this month. The court heard that Ford, who lived in Henrietta Street, Ashton under Lyne at the time, had begun by fondling and touching the youngster. He went on to rape her on up to four occasions. Guy Mathieson, prosecuting, said the four counts of indecent assault represented many such incidents over a long period of time. He told the court Ford, now of Bell Street, Southport, had accepted sexually touching the girl, but insisted it had never happened before she was 14.

When told of the allegations of rape, Ford had denied them. Giving evidence in court, Ford claimed the girl had lied about the rapes and exaggerated everything else. But he told the jury: “I’m glad she did tell the police. I behaved very badly towards her. I am ashamed of myself, and I should be ashamed of myself.” His victim, who gave evidence in court from behind a protective screen, said she had known what he was doing was wrong from the start, but did not know how to stop it. She said of the first time he raped her: “I felt sick. I remember closing my eyes and gritting my teeth.”

We understand that it is not unusual for those who were subject to abuse to come forward later in life. The law surrounding this situation is complex and Verisona’s historic abuse team have the requisite specialist knowledge to be able to deal with any potential claims. If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse at any time whilst at the school or at any other institution please do not hesitate to contact our specialist child abuse team. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.