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Barry Hastings from Margate jailed for sexual attacks on young boy

A former pupil molested by a “hard nut” school housemaster told a jury of the torment he faced for more than 30 years.

“Remorseless” Barry Hastings lured his teenage victim with promises of friendship, cigarettes, and special privileges.

But Hastings from Margate, who was feared by many pupils, would launch sexual attacks on the boy eight times in the 80s.

Barry Hastings was known at the school as a hard nut school housemaster
Barry Hastings was known at the school as a hard nut school housemaster

The 74-year-old was jailed for seven years at Canterbury Crown Court, leaving his victim “relieved to be believed.”

“I have for years suffered with flashbacks and dread of other people working things out, and judging me as a result of the abuse I experienced at the hands of Mr Hastings.

“I feel a great amount of guilt for telling my mother about the abuse because at that time in my life I felt dirty and that it was all my own fault.

“As a result of my absconding to get away from the abuse I missed out on all my childhood examinations and this has really stalled any potential career.

“(Growing up) I seriously questioned my sexuality, that was until I met my wife and realised no, I was not homosexual.

“If I had not been sexually abused by a man I would not have questioned my sexuality and I feel I would have had normal interactions with girls,” he told the court.

He added that his relationship had broke down, which he blamed on the abuse, and he had also suffered a nervous breakdown.

Since, he has been medicated with antipsychotics, antidepressants and blood pressure tablets.

“I am concerned about the day I come off them as I worry I might relapse into a mental state again that I can’t control,” he said.

Canterbury Crown Court. Stock picture (15561059)
Canterbury Crown Court. Stock picture (15561059)

Hastings, of Edinburgh Road, denied the attacks however, a jury found him unanimously guilty after a six day trial.

Prosecutor Janine Sheff told the jury: “The atmosphere in the school was one of bullying and humiliation from which the victim also suffered.

“Following an incident when he was taunted in the communal showers he found himself befriended by the defendant.

“This was the start of the grooming process,” she said.

Judge James O’Mahoney scalded Hastings for encouraging a culture of bullying and humiliation at the school.

“You were known as the hard nut housemaster.

“You started by befriending, put your arm around him, both physically and metaphorically.

“You invited him to smoke, then assaulted him.

“You have no remorse or insight as to what you have done.”

Hastings was was convicted of eight charges. Five for sexually touching the victim and three of performing a sex act on him between 1983 and 1985.

Speaking after the sentencing, an NSPCC spokesman condemned Hastings' for a "shocking abuse of his position of trust".

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “As a housemaster, Hastings would have been responsible for the safety and security of children but his predatory and calculated actions represent a shocking abuse of his position of trust.

"We hope that this sentence brings some measure of closure to his very courageous victim.

"The NSPCC’S 'Letting the Future In' is a therapeutic service which helps survivors of child sexual abuse to rebuild their lives."

Contact the NSPCC helpline or report abuse on 0808 800 5000, while children can contact Childline, 24 hours-a-day and for free on 0800 1111

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