Ex-Sheffield Council worker jailed for sexually abusing students and colleagues

Roger Dodds
Roger Dodds
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A former Sheffield Council education worker who sexually abused students and colleagues has been jailed for 16 years.

Roger Dodds, 81, of Cotswold Road, worked with schools when he carried out the acts between the 1970s and 1990s.

A judge sentenced him at Sheffield Crown Court today, after Dodds had admitted four counts of indecent assault on a man aged 16 or over and one count of indecent assault on a boy aged under 14 years in earlier hearings.

The charges relate to five separate victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The court heard Dodds was in charge of giving grants to college and university students, and used his position to abuse teenagers, forcing students to engage in sexual acts in order to secure payments.

The council, which has been accused of failing to act on complaints about Dodds, today said it 'accepted responsibility' and was 'deeply sorry' Dodds had committed the offences while in its employment.

Executive director for children, young people and families Jayne Ludlum said: “We welcome the fact that today Roger Dodds has finally been brought to justice, after so many years.

“Our thoughts go out to his victims, whose bravery in coming forward has resulted in Dodds’ conviction and subsequent sentencing.

“We are deeply sorry that Dodds committed these offences while working at Sheffield Council decades ago. We are glad to see that, finally, such cases of historic abuse are coming before the courts, justice is being done, and victims are having their voices heard.

“Despite the fact that this happened more than a quarter of a century ago, we have accepted responsibility and would never defend the indefensible."

The council said it commissioned an investigation in 2008 after a complaint of historic abuse from an ex-employee was made to South Yorkshire Police.

"This independent report made recommendations, all of which have been implemented fully," said Mrs Ludlum.

“We tackle abuse head-on, provide care and support to victims, and do everything we can to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.

“We urge all victims of sexual abuse to come forward as soon as possible so they can get the support they need and offenders can be brought to justice.”

Investigating officer Detective Constable Stephen Howson said: “Today marks the culmination of a lengthy police investigation into Dodds’ sexual abuse of multiple victims, which spanned the 1970s to 1990s.

“Our inquiry began in 2014, after we received information from one victim who bravely reported sexual abuse to the NSPCC.

“We launched an investigation, which lead to the discovery of other victims of Dodds’ sexual offending.

“I hope the positive result at court today encourages other victims of sexual abuse to come forward and talk to someone. We will always investigate reports of this nature and will do whatever we can to bring perpetrators of this crime before the courts.

“If there are other victims out there who are yet to come forward, please know that we are here to listen and support you.”

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