Specialist detectives have brought a retired music teacher to justice for sexually abusing a boy at the former Malsis School at Glusburn, Crosshills, in the Craven District.
David John Hope, aged 74, of Granby Close, Headingley, Leeds, was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment at Bradford Crown Court today – Monday 28 February 2022 – after being found guilty of seven offences following a two-week trial which concluded on 16 December last year.
He has also been ordered to serve an additional year on licence and has been made subject to a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Committed in the 1980s, the offences were:
• three counts of buggery
• one count of gross indecency
• three counts of indecent assault
Hope was brought in for questioning in the early part of 2018 after the brave victim made his initial complaint to us in December 2017.
The long-running and complex investigation involved interviews with dozens of former pupils and staff members of the independent preparatory school who were present at the time of the abuse.
Our Non-Recent Abuse Investigation Team charged Hope with the offences in December 2019 and he appeared at Skipton Magistrates’ Court the following month.
At the sentencing, the victim’s own account of his ordeal was read out in court…
“It is hard to find the words to express the horrible impact Mr Hope has had on my life.
“Vast amounts of my time have been taken up thinking over and over at the incidents that have never left me and almost feel like I live it over and over.
“I try not to think about it but it’s there, always
“I found it almost impossible to go to school after Malsis. I didn’t speak to teachers after school or one-on-one and my schooling suffered enough that I left at 16 years old.
“I wouldn’t go to school for a year when I was 12 years old and didn’t go when I was 14 due to the trauma I felt and was facing at the time.
“If a teacher spoke to me one-on-one at school, I would become faint and panic.
“I couldn’t sleep at all, all my life for seeing and thinking about Mr Hope.
“I felt like I was responsible for it and hated myself, I still struggle.
“I remember thinking all my childhood I was a very bad person.
“After Malsis I had to see psychiatrists.
“As a consequence of what happened to me, I have been over-protective of my children generally and particularly with going to school.
“I take on concern that may not be needed for other children.
“I feel that because this happened, this ruined my childhood. I would never stay over at children’s homes or go to houses of children.
“I see and hear Mr Hope’s image and voice wherever I go, making me feel constantly fearful and anxious. I jump at any loud noise and flash back to Mr Hope including if watching films.
“I don’t trust men, and this includes one-on-ones with men including doctors.
“I question in my head every man I meet as possible rapists. I have not liked men very much since I was a child, subsequently I have very few male friends. I have a deep feeling of mistrust of men.
“I have a very bad phobia about the area this all took place in, including if I hear the name Malsis or Skipton.
“I feel my trust of people is very low and I struggle with being upset with my parents for letting this happen.
“I have a mistrust in parents and teachers.
“When I was 12 and 15 years old, I attempted suicide due to the incidents at Malsis.
I am suffering depression all my life.
“The impact on my personal life has been unbearable and I know has subsequently affected the people close to me.
“I have had a hard time going to job interviews and work-related tasks especially if only one person there.
“This is just a brief insight into my life. It is too difficult to describe further or go into details the struggles and unhappiness I have felt since Mr Hope abused me.”
Detective Constable Alison Morris, of our Non-Recent Abuse Investigation Team, said:
“At Malsis School, David Hope was a music teacher who was respected by his colleagues, held in high regard by the parents who entrusted him with their children, and seemingly popular with many of the pupils he taught.
“However, that was all just a fake mask of respectability to hide what he really was – a monstrous child abuser who used the act of rape as punishment to a boy for dubious indiscretions such as leaving toilet seat up or making a mistake in class.
“He systematically abused this poor, defenceless child and constantly made threats to stop him from speaking out.
“This physical and mental torture caused unimaginable damage to the boy who struggled with life through his teenage years, into adulthood, and to this very day.
“It was only at the end of 2017 that he found the strength and courage to report his horrendous experiences to the police.”
DC Morris added: “I have nothing but admiration for the way he has coped throughout this distressing process, including the two-week trial after Hope denied the offences.
“He put his trust and faith in North Yorkshire Police to secure justice against his perpetrator, and he can be very proud that we have achieved this together.
“The sickening actions of Hope have taken a life-long toll on him that cannot be fully comprehended.
“It is my wish that this outcome is a positive step forward and that the painful burden of child abuse will start to slowly ease.
“As ever, this investigation shows that it is never too late to make a report to the police or seek the professional help and support that is readily available to victims of child abuse.