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Fencing coach Paul Romang given suspended sentence for sex abuse of pupil

Paul Romang
Paul Romang

by Annette Wilson

Canterbury Fencing club founder Paul Romang has been given a suspended sentence for the sexual abuse of one of his former pupils.

Romang, 59, of Grange Way, Broadstairs was said to have become obsessed with the teenager and showered her with gifts and promises of travel then abused her when she was staying overnight at his home.

The instructor was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court in October of sexual activity with a child when in a position of trust and returned for sentence today.

Judge Adele Williams said he had been convicted on clear and compelling evidence and he continued to deny the offence. "The only person you are deluding is yourself," she told Romang.

He told the girl she was a potential Olympic fencer and, "You became obsessed about her. You showered her with gifts including jewellery, paid for her travel and promised trips abroad and when travelling in your car, you touched her leg and hands and kissed her," said Judge Williams.

The girl was staying at Romang's home to dog sit while he and his wife were at a wedding and because they were due to go to a competition early the following morning. He went into her room in the early hours saying she needed a massage because her back was tense and twisted and began massaging her back but then rubbed her buttocks and breasts and legs. "I have no doubt she found the whole episode frightening and distressing. It was for your own sexual gratification," said Judge Williams.

"You abused a position of trust. I have seen and heard you give evidence and you are a forceful personality. I have no doubt she was unable to deal with you and your advances.

"When she sought to reject you and remove herself from your influence you sought to reject her and showed wholly inappropriate jealousy about her boyfriend," said Judge Williams.

Although the offence passed the custody threshold she said she felt able to suspended the sentence and gave Romang six months suspended for two years.

He will be under two years supervision and under curfew from 9pm to 6am for the next three months. He will also be subject to a sex offences prevention order and on the sex offenders register for seven years. He also banned from working with children.

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