Eton College

Eton College

Matthew Mowbray

Matthew Mowbray, aged 49 at the date of conviction, of Locks Heath, Southampton was a geography teacher at Eton College.

The offences

He was arrested in May 2019 following an allegation that he sexually assaulted a boy pupil at Eton College.

He was charged with offences on 3 March 2020.

He was charged with 11 offences, including seven counts of sexual assault relating to 3 alleged victims, voyeurism, and three counts of making indecent photographs.  He was accused of going into boys’ rooms under the guise of discussing schoolwork. He paid regular “nocturnal visits” to boys “for his own sexual gratification”. One of his victims said that Mowbray groped his bottom with a “forceful squeeze”. Another victim said they “felt really uncomfortable and just froze” when Mowbray sexually touched him.

Court

Matthew Mowbray first appeared in Reading Crown Court on 31 March 2020.   He stood trial at Reading Crown Court in November 2020, where he denied nine counts of sexual activity with a child. He had previously admitted six counts of making indecent images of children and one count of voyeurism. The voyeurism offence related to a series of covertly filmed images showing a boy at the elite boarding school getting dressed. He also admitted superimposing pupil spaces on to the naked bodies of unknown children of his computer.

The police found thousands of indecent images of children in Mowbray’s possession.

At the trial Matthew Mowbray, who did not give evidence, was found guilty of eight counts of sexual activity with a child and not guilty of one against a girl.

Eton College statement

Simon Henderson, head teacher at Eton College, said he was “outraged” by the way Mowbray had “abused his position of trust and betrayed those in his care”. He also said there was a “palpable sense of betrayal, coupled with shock and deep regret that we did not identify his offending earlier”.

He offered his “unreserved apologies” to those affected.

Matthew Mowbray was dismissed from his role at the boys boarding school, near Windsor, Berkshire, following his arrest.

Police statements

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Kathryn Webb, of the Child Abuse Investigation Unit, based at Windsor police station, said: “These convictions are a result of an 18 month investigation that was supported by a transparent working relationship with both Eton College and the local authority.

“The offences were committed whilst Matthew Mowbray occupied a position of trust which he betrayed.

“The victims and witnesses, many of whom are children, had the courage to come forward and provide evidence on very personal matters and in challenging circumstances.

“They should be commended for their bravery and take the credit for preventing Matthew Mowbray from committing any more offences against children”

Sentencing

 On the 17 December he was jailed after committing the “grossest breach of trust”. He was jailed for a total of five years for 15 offences.

In sentencing, Judge Heather Norton QC said, “You knew that what you were doing was wrong but you continued to take the opportunities afforded to you to abuse children for your own gratification.”

“In what was the grossest breach of trust, over a period of years and in respect of a number of children, you breached their trust, the trust of the families who placed their children in your care, and the trust of the school who had appointed you.”

In addition to sentencing Matthew Mowbray to 5 years in prison she also made a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.