Piers Le Cheminant, a 77-year-old former teacher, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually abusing boys at boarding schools in Sussex and Wiltshire. The abuse took place between 1966 and 1985 at Oakwood Preparatory School in Chichester and Salisbury Cathedral School in Salisbury.
Le Cheminant abused his position of trust as a teacher, isolating vulnerable young boys and carrying out the abuse. He was so confident of his impunity that he would even abuse boys in front of other class members.
The abuse was first reported in September 2017, and specialist detectives from the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit launched an investigation in cooperation with Wiltshire Police. Further allegations were made, and Le Cheminant was convicted of indecently assaulting six boys at Oakwood Preparatory School and two boys at Salisbury Cathedral School.
Le Cheminant has now been convicted of further charges against a boy at Salisbury and a boy at Oakwood after the CPS sought a retrial. He was sentenced to nine years in prison on July 10 at Winchester Crown Court and must serve a minimum of six years before being considered for release. He will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the rest of his life and is a registered sex offender for life.
Detective Constable Hannah Elmer from the Complex Abuse Unit said, “During his time at Oakwood School in Sussex and Salisbury Cathedral School in Wiltshire, Le Cheminant targeted young and vulnerable boys. He used his position of trust as a teacher to his advantage, getting the boys on their own and sexually abusing them. This was a complex and distressing case during which each victim showed great courage in coming forward.”
Police emphasize that the convictions relate to a period ending nearly 40 years ago and have no connection with any staff, management, or pupils at the school since that time.
Information about reporting incidents of historic sexual abuse or receiving support and help can be found on the Sussex Police website.
If you have been affected by issues discussed in this article and feel you need to talk to someone, you can contact the Samaritans charity day or night by clicking – here.