Piers Le Cheminant convicted of abuse of former pupils at Oakwood Boarding School, Chichester and Salisbury Cathedral School
Retired teacher Piers Le Cheminant has been convicted of sexual assaults on boys at Oakwood Boarding School in Chichester and Salisbury Cathedral School between the late 1960s and 1980s.
Posted on 02 May 2023
The 77-year-old will be sentenced for his crimes on 16 June 2023.
Le Cheminant was convicted following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court in February 2022 of eight counts of indecent assault on a male person. He was found not guilty of one charge of indecent assault. The Judge ruled that there was no case to answer on a further four charges of indecent assault.
As the jury were unable to reach a verdict on three other charges of indecent assault a re-trial was held in April 2023 where Le Cheminant was convicted of three counts of indecent assault on a male person.
The Court heard that complaints had been made about Le Cheminant at both schools and at both times, he was asked to leave the school.
Police were informed in 2018 and former pupils were sent standard letters. A number of responses named Le Cheminant as being responsible for sexual abuse.
He told the police the allegations were “nonsense”.
Gareth Morgan a South East District Crown Prosecutor, said:
“Many of the victims had strikingly similar recollections of what had happened to them, with some abused during class in front of other pupils, while others were subjected to abuse after swimming or playing sport.
“The defendant was a popular teacher, which put some of his victims off sharing what had happened to them, as they did not want to get him into trouble, but Le Cheminant used that popularity and significant position of trust to foster a closeness with pupils that he then often used to facilitate his offending.”
Leigh Day is investigating a number of potential claims for survivors of abuse at Oakwood School.
Leigh Day partner, head of the abuse team, Alison Millar said:
“I am glad that the guilt of Le Cheminant has finally been determined, as this has been a drawn out process for the complainants and witnesses who bravely came forward to give evidence. We have been contacted by a number of people who have been affected by this matter and would like to speak to anyone who experienced or witnessed abuse, in particular at Oakwood School.”
Alison Millar works in the human rights department at Leigh Day, where she is the head of abuse claims