Picture and story

A paedophile carer who abused boys at a special school near Wolverhampton has been jailed for eight years.

A judge told Paul Wootton, aged 45, he was guilty of a “gross breach of trust” during his time as a “house parent” at Wightwick Hall School.

Wootton, from Cornfield Drive, Lichfield, pleaded guilty to five serious sexual offences on youngsters aged under 16 dating back to the 1980s and 1990s.

He asked for five further sexual offences, including indecent assault, to be taken into consideration at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday.

Three victims were attacked, one of whom broke down in court as details of the abuse were read out.

Wootton attacked in changing rooms at Bridgnorth Youth Club, where he would take youngsters out of school hours, and in the laundry and bedrooms at the school in Tinacre Hill, Compton. In 1996, Wootton, then of Brean Road, Stafford, was jailed for six months for indecently assaulting two boys.

The court heard the school catered for vulnerable youngsters.

Judge Nicholas Webb said: “You have admitted to the probation officer that a big part of you applying for the job at the school had been the access that it would allow you to children.

“Whatever your belief was, they were not in fact consenting to what you did. They felt disgusted at what happened and with themselves.”

He said one of Wootton’s victims had tried to kill himself in later years.

Mr Towlowchan Dubb, defending, said Wootton had been “greatly confused” about his sexuality.

Wootton was put on the sex offenders’ register for life, and banned from ever working with children.