Jailed Sheffield City Council boss pleads guilty to more sex offences

A former Sheffield City Council boss serving time for sex offences has pleaded guilty to 14 additional charges.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 11:37 am

Roger Dodds was jailed for 16 years in 2017 for abusing four men and a boy, while he worked at the authority in the 1970s and 80s.

The 83-year-old pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault committed against six men and a boy between 1974 and 1980. The complainants from this case are separate to those involved with the first set of charges, bringing the total number of victims to 12.

Appearing via video link from HMP Wakefield, Dodds spoke only to confirm his name and pleas.

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Prosecutor, Gordon Stables, told Sheffield Crown Court that all of the complainants were abused by Dodds after applying to the local authority’s education department for grants to go ‘college or university’.

The victims from the first set of charges Dodds was convicted of were abused under similar circumstances.

A report on Dodds’ actions was commissioned by Sheffield City Council (SCC) in 2008 in response to police investigations.

It said Dodds was able to exploit his position, first in the education department and later giving grants to college students, to ‘pursue his sexual satisfaction’, partly through ‘substantial unregulated and unsupervised access to schools’.

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Dodds was part of a pornography club, using the basement of the Leopold Street office and sharing material on the council’s internal mail system.

He was ‘careful and thoughtful’ about his choice of victim to minmise the risk of being found out, and boasted about his sexual exploits during his ‘extensive’ travelling abroad, the report said.

Richard Rowe is one of Dodds’ victims from the first case, and won £91,000 in damages from SCC in 2017, after launching the c case against the authority seven years earlier.

Mr Rowe, who waived his right to anonymity, was just 16-years-old when the abuse began, shortly after he joined the authority's education department where Dodds was in charge. On 10 occasions over the course of 18 months, Dodds sexually abused the teenager in the toilets of the council building.

Despite an internal investigation in 1983, Dodds kept his job and carried on working for the council until he was granted early retirement in 1993. He was only caught after a police investigation in 2008.

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, adjourned sentencing until April 18.

SCC have been approached for comment.