Roger Martin - trial

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Mid A 15
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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by Mid A 15 »

Like others I find this one hard to comprehend.

Roger Martin taught me when I was a junior and he was one of my favourite teachers so it comes as a shock. I always regarded him as one of the good guys.

That said exploitation of a vulnerable child when in a position of trust is beyond contempt and I hope this conviction gives his victim (s) some sort of closure.
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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by LHA »

Chrissie Boy wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:23 pm
I'm finding this the most difficult conviction of all to deal with. Up until now, those found guilty have ranged from the not especially likeable to the downright creepy. But lots of former Barnes A boys will remember Roger Martin with very great fondness, both as a good housemaster (broadly speaking) and as a kindly man who bothered to listen to what his charges had to say and to try to understand them. Boys who were taught by him likewise remember him fondly as a very good teacher and as a fairminded authority figure who was respected by all in spite of being relatively easygoing. He was the sort of master with whom Old Blues kept in touch after leaving school.

But he did what he did.

Human beings never cease to confound me.
My memories of him broadly accord with yours. He had obvious health issues. I recall him teaching French, but I think he did a variety of other subjects? Was he into photography? I think had a disabled daughter.

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by LHA »

Just realised Martin's offending is from Sept-Dec 1976. He started to abuse the pupil within days or at most weeks of him arriving at the school. Chilling.
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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by jakew »

My recollection is that RM was a well-regarded guy, but probably not a great educator as he always seemed to have the bottom sets.

He did have a few habits - the house swimming thing, the cine camera thing - that might have been regarded as merely eccentric by the standards of the day, or at least by CH's standards, but look rather different when viewed from 2019. Like many of the others mentioned in despatches, he was rather fond of the bottle, wasn't he? That said, I probably would be too if I were cooped up in the Sussex countryside with a bunch of maniac teenagers for company.

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by LHA »

jakew wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:50 pm
My recollection is that RM was a well-regarded guy, but probably not a great educator as he always seemed to have the bottom sets.

He did have a few habits - the house swimming thing, the cine camera thing - that might have been regarded as merely eccentric by the standards of the day, or at least by CH's standards, but look rather different when viewed from 2019. Like many of the others mentioned in despatches, he was rather fond of the bottle, wasn't he? That said, I probably would be too if I were cooped up in the Sussex countryside with a bunch of maniac teenagers for company.
What was the 'house swimming thing and the cine camera thing'?

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by richardb »

The jury heard about bum sliding and skinny dipping.

Bum sliding was where naked (or almost naked) boys were allowed to slide around in the shower area at the back of the houses. Skinny dipping was nude swimming which Martin introduced.

The jury also heard about Martin rounding up a group of pupils (10 or so) who he filmed naked jumping in and out of the bath in the lav ends. He said it was an old CH tradition which he had filmed on a cine camera as some American guests wanted footage of old school traditions. It seems that the band, marching to meals, etc wasn't enough for the yanks.

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by richardb »

Oh dear I now see that this was all predicted a year ago.

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by jakew »

I think there are quite a few reminiscences from this era that haven't seen the light of day on the forum.

I had certainly heard about "skinny dipping", but this was from the older boys, which makes me think it had ceased before my arrival. I don't remember it being described as anything salacious though, it was more a question of how much easier life was for us than it had been for our predecessors!

Naturally, it had never occurred to me to make a report to the police, and I don't think I'd thought about it - or indeed about RM - in 30 years until I saw it mentioned here.

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by jtaylor »

The whole thing with skinny-dipping itself isn’t an issue in my opinion, UNLESS it’s something forced or imposed by someone for their own gratification.
Naturism and naturist swimming is acknowledged as good for wellbeing, pool hygiene etc - but isn’t something to be forced on boys for a teacher’s gratification. I get the impression there was a period when it was the norm - but from what I understand it was reintroduced by Martin with nefarious purposes....
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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by richardb »

In combination with other evidence, Martin came across as having an unhealthy interest in adolescent boys.

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by richardb »

Some explanation of Martin's sentence.

To arrive at a sentence of 4 years, the judge must have accepted that the victim was caused severe psychological harm and that Martin acted in abuse of trust.

This probably explains why the sentencing part of the hearing took nearly an hour.
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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by Morgan »

To read in black and white that Roger Martin has been convicted of this crime has really made me re-evaluate all my thoughts about CH and staff encounters there. I suggest every OB interested in this matter personally registers and logs into the Court record site www.thelawpages.com, to see with their own eyes the reality of the trial outcome.

I would have been 12 when this crime was committed. I too was encouraged to believe that Mr Martin was one of the so called “good guys”. Obviously that was not entirely true. The fact that he had a problem and was in close quarters with young boys for so many years suggests that he might have caused more damage both at CH and perhaps elsewhere (Kenya?).

Inevitably we as past pupils reassess our own experiences in the light of the information coming out with this succession of convictions: were other masters closet offenders? Did things that happened to us fit into this grooming, testing, probing environment, that apparently we were educated in. I remember one master (who had a nickname that in itself speaks volumes) pulled me naked out of my bath, and had me slung over his shoulder in a fireman’s lift position, cheek to cheek as it were. I was so affronted that I instinctively managed to grab a tube of tooth paste from the rack behind him and smeared his tweed jacket and balding pate with Colgate, by way of protest. There were no repercussions for this act of defiance, but perhaps it was enough resistance on my part to show him that I would not take his **** lying down, so perhaps that saved my **** from further attention. But perhaps that also meant some other poor soul became his target instead. He did give me the slipper on two other occasions, which in retrospect were equally disturbing, because both times I was instructed to go down alone to his study on some trumped up charge, and was then beaten in the privacy of his own room. How such a method of punishment is not fraught with opportunity for abuse is beyond me. That seemed to be him getting his jollies right there, plain and simple.

This long list of creeps who have so abused their positions will surely continue to grow. I hope every adult who experienced abuse at CH as a child will find the strength to come forward, and I offer my sympathies and thanks to those who have already done so.
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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by Elvie »

Morgan wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:15 am
This long list of creeps who have so abused their positions will surely continue to grow. I hope every adult who experienced abuse at CH as a child will find the strength to come forward, and I offer my sympathies and thanks to those who have already done so.

Does anyone know what/who is next?

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by TMF »

Howard Holdsworth said: "There were others." [teachers who departed suddenly during Howard's tenure]
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5209&&start=60#p142395

Howard also said: 'The authorities are fully aware.' (meaning the school)
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=5209&start=75#p142444

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