School master guilty of child abuse and told he’ll be jailed
A SCHOOL master who molested ten boys, including at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, has been found guilty and is facing jail.
David Lowe, 61, put pupils through years of sexual abuse while teaching at two of the country’s most prestigious boarding schools.
Married Lowe carried out the attacks as boys slept in their dormitories, during piano lessons and even in a sick bay.
Lowe, of Charlotte Street South in Bristol, sexually assaulted six boys at Westminster Cathedral Choir School and four at Ampleforth College in Ryedale – between 1978 and 1984.
Judge David Beddoe bailed Lowe ahead of sentence on February 5 and warned him: ‘It is inevitable that you will receive immediate sentences of imprisonment for the offences that you now stand convicted of.”
Lowe was bailed on condition he surrenders his passport and reports to a police station near his home address every day.
One victim, a former pupil at Westminster Cathedral Choir School, told police he was among ‘a select group of boys’ asked to sing at Lowe’s wedding in 1981.
Later that year, he said he was sexually assaulted in Lowe’s car after he was invited to visit him in Yorkshire.
A former Ampleforth student said Lowe had a ‘mad-scientist look’ and subjected him to ‘painful’ and ‘bizarre’ abuse during music lessons. Lowe crept around boys’ dormitories at night.
He was supported by his wife Ursula throughout the trial but visibly crumpled as the guilty verdicts were announced.
The jury of seven women and five men took nine hours and 29 minutes to find him guilty of all 15 counts indecent assaults.
Earlier prosecutor Philip Bennetts, QC, said: ‘David Lowe had a small group of pupils that he was extra-friendly with. He would leave sweets in his locker and notes, [like], ‘You’re very special, you deserve this, enjoy’.
Giving evidence a former Ampleforth pupil said he was just ten when he was attacked during private piano lessons in the early 1980s. He said: “The bit that I remember, because it was most disturbing, was that he was pressing really quite hard, to the extent it was quite painful, in my crotch area with his hand in a sort of cup-position.”
Another victim said he was around ten years old when their ‘disturbing’ interactions begun and described it as ‘unequivocally sexual abuse’.
Another said he once begged a classmate to stay behind at the end of the lesson, because he “didn’t want to be alone” with Lowe.
He added he had been molested by Lowe ‘possibly a dozen times in all’ but said he was ‘not going to screw me over again’ and finally reported the abuse to police after years of silence.
Lowe had insisted he had no sexual interest in children and claimed the only physical contact he had with boys was when he tried to help them relax.