Reports from the Richard Alston Trial

[EDIT: Now that a verdict has been reached in this trial, I can mention that in many of my earlier blog posts on Peter Righton, I have deliberately omitted anything relating to Richard Alston, New Barns School, and so on, as he was facing trial, which I did not want to prejudice. I intend soon to update most of these accordingly – mostly importantly this post and this one. Richard Alston contributed to various books written or edited by Donald Mitchell, Benjamin Britten’s publisher and later director of the Britten Estate. There is undoubtedly much more to be revealed about the relationship between Alston, Righton and Mitchell.]


Press Association Mediapoint
, August 17th, 2015
Nina Massey, ‘Remedial School Teacher ‘Groomed 11-Year-Old Boy’
(Versions of this printed in Daily Mirror and some regional newspapers)

A former teacher at a remedial school molested an 11-year-old boy at a school camp and spent years grooming him with his boyfriend, a court has heard.

Richard Alston, 70, met the alleged victim while working as a teacher at Cavendish School in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s.

But after starting to touch the youngster inappropriately on school grounds, Alston invited him up to the flat he shared with his partner, Peter Righton.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard that Alston began molesting the youngster after he fell off a climbing frame in the play area of the school, under the pretence of comforting him.

Prosecutor Peter Clement said: “If he said anything, it could be explained away – ‘I was doing nothing but comforting the boy who had just fallen’.

“If he didn’t say anything then that boy was susceptible to more serious sexual conduct.”

Mr Clement said that Alston touched the boy over his clothing to “gauge” his reaction.

He added: “The Crown suggest that at the first indecent assault the defendant realised that there was little or no prospect of complaint and he exploited that.”

Two further indecent assaults are said to have taken place during a school camp, and allegedly involved Alston creeping into the complainant’s tent and touching him while swimming in a pond.

Mr Clement told the court that one of the allegations was that Alston had gone into the 11-year-old’s tent and slid his hand into his sleeping bag and into his pyjamas, under the pretence of wishing him goodnight after “story time”.

Alston, who as a teacher was in a position of trust, is alleged to have started grooming the boy after realising that the youngster would deliver milk to his address as part of his milk round.

“It is here that the defendant and his then partner further groomed and acted indecently towards that boy,” said Mr Clement.

Jurors heard that they would tip the youngster 75p, and regularly started inviting him up to their flat, offering him beer, cigarettes and other gifts.

On one occasion Righton – now deceased – gave the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a pair of silk swimming trunks, which he asked him to wear and “parade” in front of himself and Alston.

Mr Clement said: “He did as he was asked. It was a purposefully quasi-sexual act.”

Other allegations state that Alston and Righton – sometimes in the presence of their friend Charles Napier – would play pornographic films at their flat and watch the youngster’s reaction, occasionally asking him to perform sex acts on them as he did so.

Jurors were told that while the youngster saw the two adults as “friends”, their motivation was to indecently assault him.

“He regarded both adults as friends who paid him attention and gave him treats.

“By this point, the defendant, together with his partner, had something of a hold over this boy,” said Mr Clement.

Although the youngster said nothing of the alleged abuse at the time, when he was 16 he confronted Righton about what he had been subjected to, jurors were told.

Mr Clement said: “Peter Righton dismissed this complaint and told him he had connections to powerful people, that the boy had no evidence and that no-one would believe him.

“And that worked because it meant that he did not say anything for many many years.”

Alston, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, denies six counts of indecent assault, and four counts of indecency with a child, in the late 1970s.

Giving evidence, the complainant described Alston and Righton as “really nice guys”.

When asked why he had not said anything after the first incident in the playground, he replied: “I was embarrassed. I didn’t think I would be believed – all series of emotions, really.”

The alleged victim also told jurors that he had introduced other boys to Alston and Righton.

Mr Clement asked if he went to the flat alone.

The witness replied: “I wasn’t always alone, no, I introduced other boys to Peter and Richard, they kept asking if I knew any friends.”

Recalling how the couple had given him 75p tips for delivering milk, he added: “Back in the ’70s, at 11 years old, that was a lot of money. That was a lot of money in those days.”

Asked about his visits to the flat, the complainant said: “I was fine with going to their house. They seemed like really nice guys.

“In a word I wouldn’t want for anything, I could get whatever I liked – toys, sweets, anything, money – they were always very generous.”


Press Association Mediapoint
, August 18th, 2015
Nina Massey, ‘Accused Ex-Teacher ‘Romped with Children’ on Classroom Mattress’

A former teacher who allegedly molested an 11-year-old pupil kept a mattress in his classroom on which he “romped with children”, a court has heard.

Richard Alston, 70, is accused of repeatedly indecently assaulting the youngster at Cavendish School in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s.

The attacks are said to have taken place on school grounds, during a school camp and at the flat Alston shared with his then boyfriend, Peter Righton.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard evidence from Wendy Doyle, who worked as a teaching assistant at the school for maladjusted boys at the same time as Alston.

She said “overbearing” Righton had been a governor at the school, but Alston did not really have much personality.

When asked by prosecutor Peter Clement if there was anything unusual about Alston’s teaching, she replied: “There was a mattress that they kept in the cupboard. It was small, just a rolled-up, flat mattress.

“If you wanted to go into the classroom, you couldn’t really push the door open anyway, because the mattress was down, with the furniture pushed back.”

She added that she thought it was “odd” but did not say anything to the headteacher at the time.

Simon Spence, defending, asked Mrs Doyle what she meant when she said she “imagined” Alston and the children had been “romping” on the mattress.

She answered: “Richard and the children were in the classroom. I could see from his reaction when he came out – he was hot and bothered, if you like.”

Alston denies six counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child against one complainant in the late 1970s.

He allegedly first molested the then 11-year-old after he fell off a climbing frame in the play area of the school, under the pretence of comforting him.

Two further indecent assaults are said to have taken place during a school camp, and allegedly involved Alston creeping into the complainant’s tent and touching him while swimming in a pond.

Mr Clement told the court that one of the allegations was that Alston had gone into the 11-year-old’s tent and slid his hand into his sleeping bag and into his pyjamas, under the pretence of wishing him goodnight after “story time”.

On one occasion Righton – now deceased – gave the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a pair of silk swimming trunks, which he asked him to wear and “parade” in front of himself and Alston, jurors heard.

Other allegations state that Alston and Righton – sometimes in the presence of their friend Charles Napier – would play pornographic films at their flat and watch the youngster’s reaction, occasionally asking him to perform sex acts on them as he did so.

Alston, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, is on bail and denies all charges against him.

Jurors also heard from Alston, who took to the witness box to give evidence.

He said he had realised he was gay as a young adult, and met Righton – 19 years his senior – when he was just 16.

However, Alston told the court that he did not start a physical relationship with Righton until he was about 22, and they moved in together in 1971.

Mr Spence asked his client: “Was it a full-time, committed monogamous relationship?”

Alston replied: “Not necessarily absolutely monogamous. Like a marriage with a fairly liberal interpretation of the marriage.”

Mr Spence also asked if Alston, “as a homosexual”, had ever had any interest in younger men or boys.

Alston answered: “Younger men, possibly. But not boys.”

When asked how young, he responded: “Around 16.”

Alston told the court he remembered the complainant from Cavendish School, and that he had interviewed him, along with four other boys, as part of a study he was conducting.

However, when asked repeatedly if he had ever indecently assaulted the pupil, the defendant asserted “No”.

He also denied he had ever given the youngster beer or other gifts.

Mr Spence asked: “Were you present when he was given a pair of silk swimming trunks (by Righton)?

“Were you aware of him being provided with a remote control plane or a truck?

“Did you ever see him smoking cigarettes?”

To each of these, Alston replied “No”.

The accused was then quizzed further about his relationship with his deceased partner.

Mr Clement asked if Righton had acted indecently towards the complaintant.

Alston replied: “I don’t know.”

Mr Clement continued: “Might he have done?”

“It is possible,” said Alston.

He also admitted that he and Righton would watch pornography at home, on cinefilm. But denied that this had ever been shown to the complainant.

Alston added that he thought the movies had come from Amsterdam, and could not remember if Charles Napier had brought them back from Scandinavia.

He went on to say that he was the only person with Righton when he died in 2007 and that he had been aware of a 1994 BBC documentary on his former partner.

The court heard that in January 1979 in Aberdeen, Scotland, Alston was admonished – the equivalent of a caution in English law – after admitting one count of lewd, indecent, libidinous practices, namely placing his hand on a boy’s thigh in the cinema.

Alston told jurors that he did not disclose the conviction to the school or local education authority because he hoped to be able to carry on with his work.

But he conceded that the act was an “attempt at a sexual approach” towards a boy who was of an age that he was attracted to – 16 or 17.

The trial continues.


ITV News Report
, August 18th, 2015
‘Former teacher ‘romped with children on classroom mattress”

A former teacher accused of molesting an 11-year-old pupil kept a mattress in his classroom on which he “romped with children”, it has been claimed.

Richard Alston, 70, is accused of assaulting the youngster repeatedly at a school in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s.

The attacks are said to have happened on school grounds, during a school camp and at a flat shared with the teacher’s former boyfriend, Peter Righton.

Righton, now deceased, was a former governor at the school.

Southwark Crown Court heard evidence from Wendy Doyle, a teaching assistant at the school at the time in question, who said she thought it was a “odd” that a mattress was kept in the cupboard.

It was a small, just a rolled-up, flat mattress.

If you wanted to go into the classroom, you couldn’t really push the door open anyway, because the mattress was down with the furniture pushed back.

Richard and the children were in the classroom. I could see from his reaction when he came out – he was hot and bothered, if you like.

– WENDY DOYLE

Simon Spence, defending, asked Mrs Doyle what she meant when she said she “imagined” Alston and the children had been “romping” on the mattress.

She answered: “Richard and the children were in the classroom. I could see from his reaction when he came out – he was hot and bothered, if you like.”

Alston denies six counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child against one complainant.

He allegedly first molested the then 11-year-old complainant after he fell off a climbing frame in the play area of the school, under the pretence of comforting him.

Two more incidents are said to have taken place during a school camp, and allegedly involved Alston creeping into the complainant’s tent and touching him while swimming in a pond.

Other allegations state that Alston and Righton – sometimes in the presence of their friend Charles Napier – would play pornographic films at their flat and watch the youngster’s reaction, occasionally asking him to perform sex acts on them as he did so.

Alston, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, is on bail and denies all charges against him.

The trial continues.


East Anglian Daily Times
, August 18th, 2015
PR Import – PA, ‘Former teacher denies ‘grooming’ 11-year-old remedial school pupil’

A former teacher who worked at a remedial school allegedly molested an 11-year-old boy at a school camp and spent years grooming him with his boyfriend, a court has heard.

Richard Alston, 70, who now lives in Bury St Edmunds, met the alleged victim while working as a teacher at Cavendish School in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s.

But after starting to touch the youngster inappropriately on school grounds, Alston invited him up to the flat he shared with his partner, Peter Righton.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard that Alston allegedly began molesting the youngster after he fell off a climbing frame in the play area of the school, under the pretence of comforting him.

Prosecutor Peter Clement said that Alston touched the boy over his clothing to “gauge” his reaction. He added: “The Crown suggest that at the first indecent assault the defendant realised that there was little or no prospect of complaint and he exploited that.”

Two further indecent assaults are said to have taken place during a school camp. Mr Clement told the court that one of the allegations was that Alston had gone into the 11-year-old’s tent and slid his hand into his sleeping bag and into his pyjamas, under the pretence of wishing him good night after “story time”.

Alston, who as a teacher was in a position of trust, is alleged to have started grooming the boy after realising that the youngster would deliver milk to his address as part of his round. Jurors heard that Alston and Righton would tip the youngster 75p, and regularly started inviting him up to their flat, offering him beer, cigarettes and other gifts.

On one occasion Righton – who has since died – gave the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a pair of silk swimming trunks, which he asked him to wear and “parade” in front of himself and Alston.

Other allegations state that Alston and Righton – sometimes in the presence of their friend Charles Napier – would play pornographic films at their flat and watch the youngster’s reaction, occasionally asking him to perform sex acts on them as he did so.

Although the youngster said nothing of the alleged abuse at the time, when he was 16 he confronted Righton, jurors heard.

Mr Clement said: “Peter Righton dismissed this complaint and told him he had connections to powerful people, that the boy had no evidence and that no-one would believe him. And that worked because it meant that he did not say anything for many many years.”

Alston denies six counts of indecent assault, and four counts of indecency with a child, in the late 1970s.

The case continues.


Bury Free Press
, August 18th, 2015

‘Special needs teacher from Bury St Edmunds is accused of molesting vulnerable’ pupil’

A teacher at a special needs school groomed an 11-year-old boy for sex with gifts of beer, cigarettes and silk swimming trunks, a court has heard.

Richard Alston, 70, of Robin Hood Court, Bury St Edmunds, first molested the pupil after he fell from a climbing frame in the grounds of a Middlesex school in the late 1970s, it is alleged.

Over the next three years Alston abused the vulnerable’ and needy’ child at whim with his paedophile boyfriend Peter Righton, who has since died, Southwark Crown Court heard yesterday.

When the boy turned 16 he decided to confront the pair but was scared into silence after Righton boasted of his connections to powerful people’, jurors were told

In his opening address to jurors, prosecutor Peter Clement said: “The case is about indecent assault and indecency with and towards the same person dating back some 30 years.

“At the time the complainant was a child. By virtue of not only his age – he was aged around 11 when this sequence of events begins – but also his personal circumstance, the prosecution suggest that the complainant was vulnerable.

“This defendant was in a position which brought with it a considerable degree of trust, not only of the child who he was charged with caring and educating but also the child’s parents and also the trust of colleagues at the same school.

“This defendant exploited and breached that trust that came with his position and he breached it for his own sexual gratification.

“It is indicative, the prosecution suggests, of what is commonly referred to and understood as the grooming of that child.

“Grooming so as to enable the abuse to take place and to ensure that boys silence for many, many years continuing into adulthood.

“It was all under the guise of caring for and being kind to the complainant.”

Alston forced the boy to perform sex acts and also involved his partner in the abuse, the court heard.

“On occasions the defendant’s then partner, now deceased, a man called Peter Righton, was actively involved – two men acting indecently towards that same boy,” said Mr Clement.

The court heard that the school’s regime was relaxed’ with students relatively free to roam around the school grounds’ and pupils calling teachers by their first names.

Mr Clement said Alston by all accounts was a popular, well liked, successful teacher’.

He added: “That boy, described by one form teacher as a needy child, was at that point expected to refer to his teachers by their first names and he grew to regard them as friends.

“The boy found the defendant to be friendly and approachable but he was to describe him as touchy-feely.

“There were boundaries in the 1970s and there are today – this defendant crossed them deliberately for his own sexual gratification.”

Alston first touched the child while comforting him following a fall from a climbing frame at the school, jurors heard.

Mr Clement said: “Richard Alston went over purportedly to comfort him by hugging him, embracing him, but in doing so he ran his hands over the boy’s back and over his genitals over his clothes.

“It was a deliberate touching of that boy’s genitals.”

Alston was attempting to gauge the reaction’ of the child and to see if he would say anything, jurors heard.

He later plied the boy with gifts of beer and cigarettes and tipped him generously when he, as a paperboy, delivered to his door, the court was told.

It is claimed that when Righton, who was Alston’s boyfriend at the time, gave the boy a pair of silken swimming trunks’, the couple asked him to parade in front of them.

“It was a purposefully quasi-sexual act in the mind of both the defendant and his then partner,” said Mr Clement.

It is alleged the victim was also shown pornographic films and would watch the screen as the couple, and a friend, looked on.

“By this point the prosecution suggest this defendant and his partner had something of a hold over this boy,” said Mr Clement.

The boy decided to confront the pair at their home shortly after his 16th birthday but Righton scared him into keeping his silence, the court heard.

“He confronted him about what he had been subjected to but Peter Righton dismissed his complaint and told him that he, Righton, had connections to powerful people, that the boy had no evidence and that no-one would believe him and that worked because the complainant didn’t say anything for many, many years,” said Mr Clement.

It was only when researching a book that the alleged victim stumbled across an article about Righton asking for information and plucked up the courage to contact investigators.

Alston denies six charges of indecent assault and four charges of indecency with a child.

The trial continues.


Sunday World
, August 18th, 2015

‘Teacher had classroom mattress for “romping with children”’

A former teacher who allegedly molested an 11-year-old pupil kept a mattress in his classroom on which he “romped with children”, a court has heard.
Richard Alston, 70, is accused of repeatedly indecently assaulting the youngster at Cavendish School in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s.

The attacks are said to have taken place on school grounds, during a school camp and at the flat Alston shared with his then boyfriend, Peter Righton.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard evidence from Wendy Doyle, who worked as a teaching assistant at the school for maladjusted boys at the same time as Alston.

She said “overbearing” Righton had been a governor at the school, but Alston did not really have much personality.

When asked by prosecutor Peter Clement if there was anything unusual about Alston’s teaching, she replied: “There was a mattress that they kept in the cupboard. It was small, just a rolled-up, flat mattress.

“If you wanted to go into the classroom, you couldn’t really push the door open anyway, because the mattress was down, with the furniture pushed back.”

She added that she thought it was “odd” but did not say anything to the headteacher at the time.

Simon Spence, defending, asked Mrs Doyle what she meant when she said she “imagined” Alston and the children had been “romping” on the mattress.

She answered: “Richard and the children were in the classroom. I could see from his reaction when he came out – he was hot and bothered, if you like.”

Alston denies six counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child against one complainant in the late 1970s.

He allegedly first molested the then 11-year-old after he fell off a climbing frame in the play area of the school, under the pretence of comforting him.

Two further indecent assaults are said to have taken place during a school camp, and allegedly involved Alston creeping into the complainant’s tent and touching him while swimming in a pond.

Mr Clement told the court that one of the allegations was that Alston had gone into the 11-year-old’s tent and slid his hand into his sleeping bag and into his pyjamas, under the pretence of wishing him goodnight after “story time”.

On one occasion Righton – now deceased – gave the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a pair of silk swimming trunks, which he asked him to wear and “parade” in front of himself and Alston, jurors heard.

Other allegations state that Alston and Righton – sometimes in the presence of their friend Charles Napier – would play pornographic films at their flat and watch the youngster’s reaction, occasionally asking him to perform sex acts on them as he did so.

Alston, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, is on bail and denies all charges against him.


East Anglian Daily Times
, August 19th, 2015
PR Import – PA

A former teacher who allegedly molested an 11-year-old pupil kept a mattress in his classroom on which he “romped with children”, a court has heard.

Richard Alston, 70, who now lives in Bury St Edmunds, is accused of repeatedly indecently assaulting the youngster at Cavendish School in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s. The attacks are said to have taken place on school grounds, during a school camp and at the flat Alston shared with his then boyfriend, Peter Righton.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard evidence from Wendy Doyle, who worked as a teaching assistant at the school for maladjusted boys at the same time as Alston. She said “overbearing” Righton had been a governor at the school, but Alston did not really have much personality.

When asked by prosecutor Peter Clement if there was anything unusual about Alston’s teaching, she replied: “There was a mattress that they kept in the cupboard. It was small, just a rolled-up, flat mattress.

“If you wanted to go into the classroom, you couldn’t really push the door open anyway, because the mattress was down, with the furniture pushed back.”

She added that she thought it was “odd” but did not say anything to the headteacher at the time.

Simon Spence, defending, asked Mrs Doyle what she meant when she said she “imagined” Alston and the children had been “romping” on the mattress. She answered: “Richard and the children were in the classroom. I could see from his reaction when he came out – he was hot and bothered, if you like.”

Alston denies six counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child against one complainant in the late 1970s.

He allegedly first molested the then 11-year-old after he fell off a climbing frame in the play area of the school, under the pretence of comforting him.

Two further indecent assaults are said to have taken place during a school camp, and allegedly involved Alston creeping into the complainant’s tent and touching him while swimming in a pond.

Mr Clement told the court that one of the allegations was that Alston had gone into the 11-year-old’s tent and slid his hand into his sleeping bag and into his pyjamas, under the pretence of wishing him goodnight after “story time”. On one occasion Righton – now deceased – gave the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a pair of silk swimming trunks, which he asked him to wear and “parade” in front of himself and Alston, jurors heard.

Other allegations state that Alston and Righton – sometimes in the presence of their friend Charles Napier – would play pornographic films at their flat and watch the youngster’s reaction, occasionally asking him to perform sex acts on them as he did so.

Alston is on bail and denies all charges against him.

Court News, August 27th, 2015

The long term lover of a founding member of the Paedophile Information Exchange is facing jail for the abuse of an 11-year-old boy in the 1970s, it can be revealed.

Richard Alston, 70, taught at the Cavendish School for ‘maladjusted children’ in Greenford, Middlesex, even though he had a previous conviction for sexual assault.

He groomed the ‘needy’ and ‘vulnerable’ child with his boyfriend, the notorious paedophile Peter Righton.

Together they plied the boy with gifts including beer, cigarettes, silk swimming trunks and a remote control plane before abusing him.

Shortly after his sixteenth birthday the victim plucked up the courage to confront Righton but he was scared into silence after the abuser boasted of the couple’s ‘connections to powerful people’.

Last Thursday a jury panel of eight men and four women found Alston guilty of one counts of indecency with a child and one count of indecent assault.

He was cleared of a further four counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child.

The jury were unable to reach a verdict on a remaining count of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child.

The verdicts can now be published after the CPS opted not to pursue to retrial on the outstanding counts in a secret hearing.

White haired and rail-thin Alston, who was supported during the trial by his brother from the public gallery, did not react as the verdicts were read.

Oxford alumni Alston had insisted to jurors that he never touched the child but said ‘it is possible’ Righton, who he was in a relationship for 40 years, abused the boy.

Righton, who died in 2007, was convicted in September 1992 for possession of child porn and is widely believed to have been influential in a powerful network of child abusers.

Prosecutor Peter Clement said: ‘This defendant was in a position which brought with it a considerable degree of trust, not only of the child who he was charged with caring and educating but also the child’s parents and the trust of colleagues at the same school.

‘This defendant exploited and breached the trust that came with his position and he breached it for his own sexual gratification.’

Alston was convicted of performing a sex act on the victim and forcing the victim to perform a sex act on him at his flat.

The victim was forced to parade in front of the paedophile couple, who he believed to be ‘really nice guys’, in a pair of silk swimming trunks they gave him.

He told jurors he was bowled over after receiving a 75 pence tip for delivering milk to the couple’s home.

‘Back in the ’70s at 11 years old that was a lot of money, that was a lot of money in those days,’ he said.

‘I was fine with going to their house, they seemed to be really nice guys. ‘In a word I wouldn’t want for anything, I could get whatever I liked – toys, sweets, anything, money –they were always very generous,’ he said.

‘I was going through a bad patch at home and needed somebody else to talk to about the problems so I decided to ring them up as normal to go to their home,’ the complainant told jurors.

‘I was given some alcohol which I didn’t like the taste of and they put some lemonade in to make it taste better… ‘

After the drink I wasn’t feeling very well and I fell asleep and I woke up some time later on a bed,’ he said.

‘Were you clothed,’ asked Mr Clement.

‘Yes I was clothed,’ replied the alleged victim welling up with tears in the witness box.

The victim was also shown pornographic films imported from Amsterdam during sessions that were also attended by convicted paedophile and former PIE treasurer Charles Napier.

Napier, who is the half-brother of Tory MP John Whittingdale, was locked up for 13 years in December last year after admitting 28 charges concerning 21 boys aged eight to 13 between 1967 and 1972.

‘By this point the prosecution suggest this defendant and his partner had something of a hold over this boy,’ said Mr Clement.

The boy decided to confront the pair at their home shortly after his 16th birthday but Righton scared him into keeping his silence, the court heard.

‘He confronted him about what he had been subjected to but Peter Righton dismissed his complaint and told him that he, Righton, had connections to powerful people, that the boy had no evidence and that no-one would believe him and that worked because the complainant didn’t say anything for many, many years,’ said Mr Clement.

It was only when researching a book the alleged victim stumbled across an article about Righton that he plucked up the courage to contact investigators.

While giving evidence Alston admitted he hid a conviction for groping a teenager in an Aberdeen cinema from the authorities in 1978.

He stroked the thigh of a boy, who he guessed to be 16 or 17, in an ‘attempt at a sexual approach’ but the youth reacted ‘aggressively’ and pushed the teacher into a nearby alley where his friends threatened him with a broken bottle unless he handed himself into the police.

He received the equivalent of a caution after admitting touching the boy.

Alston, of (4) Robin Hood Court, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was convicted of one charge of indecent assault and one charge of indecency with a child.

He was cleared of four charges of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child.

Jurors were unable to reach verdicts on further charges of indecency with a child and indecent assault.

He will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court tomorrow.
ends


Press Association
, August 27th, 2015
Nina Massey, ‘Remedial School Teacher Richard Alston Guilty of Molesting Pupil, 11’

A former remedial school teacher and long term partner of one of the founders of the Paedophile Information Exchange has been found guilty of molesting an 11-year-old boy, it can be revealed.

Richard Alston, 70, met the victim while working at Cavendish School for “maladjusted boys” in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s.

Together with his partner, Peter Righton, the pensioner forced the youngster to watch pornography and then perform sex acts on him.

It was the investigation into Righton, who was convicted of importing child pornography in 1992, that led to MP Tom Watson using parliamentary privilege in 2012 to allege that there was “clear intelligence” of a VIP child sex abuse ring.

Righton was also a founding member of the Paedophile Information Exchange – a notorious group set up in the 1970s that campaigned to lower the age of consent.

He and Alston were together for 40 years, and although the teacher denied indecently assaulting the schoolboy, while giving evidence he conceded it was “possible” his lover may have done.

Giving evidence, Alston explained that he realised he was gay as a young adult, and met Righton – 19 years his senior – when he was just 16 years old.

Despite being cleared of a number of offences, he was convicted of incidents that took place when Righton was present and a participant.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court in London cleared Alston of molesting the youngster on school grounds and during a camping trip when he was alleged to have crept into his tent after “story time”.

The verdicts were reached last week, but can only be reported now for legal reasons.
Alston, who was in a position of trust as a teacher, was found guilty of one count of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child, showed no emotion as he was convicted.

Jurors found that he and Righton groomed the schoolboy after he began visiting them at their flat, plying him with alcohol and buying him gifts such as cigarettes and toys.
Prosecutor Peter Clement said: “It is here that the defendant and his then partner further groomed and acted indecently towards that boy.”

Jurors were told that while the youngster saw the two adults as “friends”, their motivation was to indecently assault him.

“He regarded both adults as friends who paid him attention and gave him treats.

“By this point, the defendant, together with his partner, had something of a hold over this boy,” said Mr Clement.

On one occasion Righton – who died in 2007 – gave the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a pair of silk swimming trunks, which he asked him to “parade” in front of himself and Alston.

Giving evidence, the complainant said: “I was fine with going to their house. They seemed like really nice guys.

“In a word I wouldn’t want for anything, I could get whatever I liked – toys, sweets, anything, money – they were always very generous.”

Although the youngster said nothing of the alleged abuse at the time because he was “embarrassed”, when he was 16 he confronted Righton about what he had been subjected to.

Mr Clement said: “Peter Righton dismissed this complaint and told him he had connections to powerful people, that the boy had no evidence, and that no-one would believe him.

“And that worked because it meant that he did not say anything for many many years.”

Alston was found to have made the schoolboy watch pornographic films and then ask him to perform sex acts on him and Righton.

The court heard that their friend Charles Napier – now a convicted paedophile – would also be present for some of these viewings.

Last December, Napier, the half-brother of senior Conservative MP John Whittingdale, was jailed for 13 years for carrying out hundreds of sexual assaults on young boys.

He was convicted of conducting a “campaign of abuse” at the school where he worked in the late 1960s and early 1970s, grooming and assaulting 21 victims aged as young as eight on scores of occasions.

He pleaded guilty to 28 counts of indecent assault – including many covering “multiple incidents” – and one indecency charge in relation to those crimes, as well as two further separate historical allegations of indecent assault against two 13-year-old boys after he left the school, the first in 1979 and the second in 1983.

Alston, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was cleared of four counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child. The jury was unable to reach verdicts on one count each of the same offences.

The verdicts can now be reported after the CPS took the decision in private not to pursue a retrial on the outstanding charges.

In January 1979 in Aberdeen, Scotland, he was admonished – the equivalent of a caution in English law – after admitting one count of lewd, indecent, libidinous practices, namely placing his hand on a boy’s thigh in the cinema.

Alston is due to be sentenced on September 28.


East Anglian Daily Times
, August 27th, 2015

Colin Adwent, ‘Former teacher Richard Alston from Bury St Edmunds guilty of molesting 11-year-old boy’

A former remedial school teacher from Suffolk and long-term partner of one of the founders of the Paedophile Information Exchange has been found guilty of molesting an 11-year-old boy, it can be revealed.

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Richard AlstonRichard Alston

Richard Alston, 70, of Vinery Road, Bury St Edmunds, met the victim while working at Cavendish School for “maladjusted boys” in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s.

Together with his partner, Peter Righton, Alston forced the youngster to watch pornography and then perform sex acts on him.

It was the investigation into Righton, who was convicted of importing child pornography in 1992, that led to MP Tom Watson using parliamentary privilege in 2012 to allege that there was “clear intelligence” of a VIP child sex abuse ring.

Righton was also a founding member of the Paedophile Information Exchange – a notorious group set up in the 1970s that campaigned to lower the age of consent.

He and Alston were together for 40 years and lived in Thornham Magna after Righton’s conviction.

Although Alston denied indecently assaulting the schoolboy, while giving evidence he conceded it was “possible” his lover may have done.

Giving evidence, Alston explained that he realised he was gay as a young adult, and met Righton – 19 years his senior – when he was just 16 years old.

Despite being cleared of a number of offences, he was convicted of incidents that took place when Righton was present and a participant.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court in London cleared Alston of molesting the youngster on school grounds and during a camping trip when he was alleged to have crept into his tent after “story time”.

The verdicts were reached last week, but can only be reported now for legal reasons.

Alston, who was in a position of trust as a teacher, was found guilty of one count of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child, showed no emotion as he was convicted.

Jurors found that he and Righton groomed the schoolboy after he began visiting them at their flat, plying him with alcohol and buying him gifts such as cigarettes and toys.

On one occasion Righton – who died in 2007 – gave the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a pair of silk swimming trunks, which he asked him to “parade” in front of himself and Alston.

Alston was found to have made the schoolboy watch pornographic films and then ask him to perform sex acts on him and Righton.

The court heard that their friend Charles Napier – now a convicted paedophile – would also be present for some of these viewings.

Alston was cleared of four counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child. The jury was unable to reach verdicts on one count each of the same offences.

The verdicts can now be reported after the CPS took the decision in private not to pursue a retrial on the outstanding charges.

In January 1979 in Aberdeen, Scotland, he was admonished – the equivalent of a caution in English law – after admitting one count of lewd, indecent, libidinous practices, namely placing his hand on a boy’s thigh in the cinema.

Alston is due to be sentenced on September 28.

Last December, Napier, was jailed for 13 years for carrying out hundreds of sexual assaults on young boys.

He was convicted of conducting a “campaign of abuse” at the school where he worked in the late 1960s and early 1970s, grooming and assaulting 21 victims aged as young as eight on scores of occasions.

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5 Comments on “Reports from the Richard Alston Trial”

  1. […] trial for offences against children. Since this has happened and Alston has been found guilty (see the reports from the trial here), I am now including more information about the references to Alston in Donald Mitchell’s […]

  2. […] light of the conviction yesterday of Peter Righton‘s lover Richard Alston on child abuse charges, in which information was […]

  3. […] Reports from the Richard Alston Trial (20/8/15) […]


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