A former school caretaker has been found guilty of seven sex offences committed 40 years ago against young girls.
Robert Bambury, 75, who worked at Clare Middle School at the time of the offences, has today been sentenced to four years imprisonment.
Judge John Devaux told Bambury that the offences represented a breach of trust and despite having been committed four decades ago were still ‘very serious’.
Bambury has also been ordered to sign on the sexual offences register and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
After considering evidence for almost 13 hours the jury of six women and six men found Bambury guilty of seven offences of indecent assault.
Bambury, formerly of Clare and now living at Wrights Close, Stowmarket, was found not guilty of a further three alleged indecent assault offences and one of rape.
Judge Devaux directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict on a charge of indecency with a child because of legal reasons.
The jury were unable to reach verdicts on three allegations of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child and have been discharged from considering the charges further.
During the trial at Ipswich Crown Court, the prosecution alleged that Bambury had sexually abused two girls between the mid 1970s and the mid 1980s.
Some of the offences were said to have been committed in a storeroom at Clare Middle School and the gym while Bambury was showing one of the girls where he worked.
The alleged offences came to light when one of the girls went to police after an emotional discussion with her daughter and the second girl made her allegations when police contacted her for background information about the case.
One of the girls told the court that Bambury had committed some of the alleged offences under the guise of playing a game while on one occasion he had briefly touched her while she was in a swimming pool.
Giving evidence, one of the girls said: “I have spent my whole life trying to convince myself that it wasn’t real, that it was a dream, but it was real.”
The jury were shown recorded police interviews with the two alleged victims in which they made their allegations and detailed what they said Bambury had done.
A married father of five, Bambury told the jury that none of the allegations were true and he could not understand why the girls, who he admitted he knew, had made them up.
Bambury said he accepted that he did have a seven year affair with one girl but that only began when she was aged 16.
The court heard that when arrested and interviewed by police, Bambury had suggested that one of the girls may have been suffering from a nervous breakdown when she made the allegations against him.
He said none of the incidents described by the girls ever took place.