Ipswich: Music teacher cleared of sexually assaulting schoolgirls

A TEACHER accused of sexually assaulting five schoolgirls during music lessons nearly two decades ago has been cleared of all the offences.

Following a five-day trial at Ipswich Crown Court this week, Kenneth Roberts, 74, of Pennyroyal Gardens, Ipswich, was unanimously found not guilty by a jury of all the offences against him.

Roberts had denied 11 offences of indecent assault on five girls under the age of 16 dating back to the 1990s. The jury was directed to return a verdict of not guilty on one of the charges because of the lack of evidence and he was found not guilty by the jury of the remaining ten charges.

During the trial, a number of character references were read to the court in which Roberts was described as a “pillar of the community” and as genuine and well respected.

The jury also heard references from seven other character witnesses who all praised him and spoke of his honesty and kindness.

Roberts’ barrister, Naomi Perry, also read statements from a number of Roberts’ former pupils who said he had never touched them in a sexual way.

It had been alleged that Roberts touched the girls inappropriately during music lessons.

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After his arrest in January last year, Roberts described the allegations as rubbish and giving evidence during the trial he denied touching the alleged victims in a sexual way.

Roberts suggested the father of one of the alleged victims might have encouraged his daughter and one of her friends to make the allegations because Roberts had reported him for suspected benefit fraud a number of years earlier.