`

Former Pickering town clerk jailed for raping teenage pupil

Andrew Husband is a former Pickering Town Clerk
Andrew Husband is a former Pickering Town Clerk

A former Pickering town clerk has been jailed for 17 years for raping a teenager in the 1990s – while he was a teacher at a top school.

James Andrew Husband, known as Andrew, has been found guilty of and sentenced for five counts of indecent assault and one count of rape, all against a girl in her teens,

between 1990 and 1994.

The 68-year-old, of Wigginton Road, York, is the fifth Christ’s Hospital School teacher to be convicted of sexually abusing students over more than 30 years, involving 22 victims.

Husband, who was the town clerk at Pickering for 20 years, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday July 13.

He was sentenced to a total of 17 years behind bars for one count of rape and five counts of indecently assaulting a girl while he was teaching at the prestigious West Sussex school.

Three further counts of alleged rape by Husband had been discontinued during the trial.

After the same trial, Gary Dobbie, 67, of Rue De La Piale, Albi, France, was convicted on Friday July 6 of 15 offences against eight pupils aged between 12 and 19.

No date has yet been arranged by the court for Dobbie to be sentenced.

Husband was recognised as one of the experts in parish and town government in North Yorkshire. He was renowned for his charity work, especially with The Pickering and District Rotary Club, of which he is a former president.

Town Mayor, Cllr Joy Andrews, said this week that an extra-ordinary meeting of the council had been held at which members formally agreed to dismiss Husband from his post.

She added: “This has been an unprecedented and very difficult time for all concerned. The town council has taken legal and procedural advice from the Yorkshire Local Councils

Association and the National Association of Local Councils.

"The town council offers its sympathy to all those affected by this distressing case.”

The council’s administration has now been taken over by Angela Dawson, who has been appointed as acting town clerk, until councillors make a new appointment.

A spokesman for the NSPCC said: “Husband used and abused his position of trust in the worst possible way and then tried to claim his sickening behaviour was nothing more than consensual sex.

“His jailing will hopefully give some sort of closure to his victim and at the same time encourage other people in a similar position to come forward and report what happened to them.”

The investigation into Husband began when the victim contacted the school to report the abuse in January 2016.

Detective Sergeant Karrie Bohanna of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit said: “She subsequently made a statement to us and also said that Dobbie, who was the school chaplain, had, on learning of the systematic abuse of her by Husband, indecently assaulted her himself.

“The victims of Husband and Dobbie were mainly children who should have been able to feel safe whilst in the care of their teachers; instead both Husband and Dobbie exploited their positions in order to groom and sexually abuse their victims.”