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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Schoolmaster's sex crimes on boy
A former school housemaster has admitted sexually assaulting a pupil in his care 45 years ago.

Gerald Rex Sweatman, 79, of Firgrove Crescent, Yate, South Gloucs faced charges relating to boys at Sedbury Park School, at Sedbury, Gloucs.

Sweatman had initially pleaded not guilty to five sexual offences.

But he pleaded guilty to two indecent assaults and no evidence was offered on the other three charges. He will be sentenced next month.

'Community home'

He appeared at Gloucester Crown Court on 6 October to face one charge of a serious sexual assault, two indecent assaults on boys under-14 and two gross indecencies on boys under-18.

Having previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, Sweatman pleaded guilty to two indecent assaults and no evidence was offered on the remaining offences.

Sedbury Park School was a community home under the control of Gloucestershire Local Authority from 1973.

The school catered for up to 85 boys between 13 and 16, who were referred there by local authorities throughout the South West.

Reports ordered

Operation Shogun, involving police and social services, investigated numerous complaints of indecency and physical abuse allegations at the school.

Some of those allegations resulted in criminal proceedings and convictions, and others where the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take no further action.

Sweatman was employed at the school as a housemaster between May 1958 to June 1961.

His victim was resident at the school at the time of the offences and Sweatman was originally arrested in August 2003, being charged in March 2004.

Sentencing has been adjourned for six weeks pending reports.


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