'It went on and on' - Victims tell of abuse by paedophile Norwich teacher

Chris Sargisson, one of the sexual abuse victims of John Foxley at the former Bracondale School. Pic

Chris Sargisson (left) and Matt Pike, two of the sexual abuse victims of John Foxley at the former Bracondale School. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Two men who were groomed and abused as children by a Norwich teacher have waived their anonymity to speak out.

John Foxley, 70, a geography teacher and school master, has been jailed for 14 years and ordered to serve another two on licence as part of an extended 16-year sentence.

John Foxley

John Foxley - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

It comes after he admitted abusing five boys in the 1980s and 1990s at Bracondale School in Norwich.

Foxley was sentenced on Wednesday (April 28) by Recorder John Hardy QC, who said his "sordid past caught up with you as it stayed with the victims".

Two of those victims have now spoken of the abuse they suffered and urged others to speak out about what happened to them.


Matt Pike, 51, who lives near Stalham, said: "Your parents send you to a private school for a better education, not to be groomed by a paedophile.

Matt Pike, one of the sexual abuse victims of John Foxley at the former Bracondale School. Picture:

Matt Pike, one of the sexual abuse victims of John Foxley at the former Bracondale School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"I started at 12 and almost immediately the grooming started.

"You went to school on a Monday and you couldn't wait until Friday. That went on and on and you couldn't wait for half term and the end of term.

Most Read

"It was no good telling anyone. You were 12 and no-one would believe you."

Mr Pike left school at 15 and tried to put memories of the abuse he suffered by Foxley "in a suitcase and shut the lid".

But as time went on and high-profile cases of paedophiles hit the headlines he said "the suitcase in my head kept popping open".

It was after watching an episode of 24 Hours in Police Custody about a paedophile a few years ago that he that he contacted police.

Bracondale School pictured in July 1995

Bracondale School pictured in uly 1995 - Credit: Archant

He said: "That's when I thought I would do something about it.

"At the end of the day I've got justice and I want other people to maybe think they can come forward as well.

"I'm sure there were more people abused at my school who haven't come forward and I'm urging anyone making that call to know that people will listen - people will believe you.

"Here I am as an example of that and that's the message I'd like to get across."

He said the suitcase was still in his head "but it's empty now".

Another of Foxley's victims, Chris Sargisson, who lives in south Norwich, was dyslexic and felt that was how the grooming started as it created an environment where he could be taken aside and controlled.

Chris Sargisson, one of the sexual abuse victims of John Foxley at the former Bracondale School. Pic

Chris Sargisson, one of the sexual abuse victims of John Foxley at the former Bracondale School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

He had "blocked out" memories of the abuse so that it became "in the shadows" and was "buried".

But he said a phone call he received from police about four years ago was one of two bits of luck he has had in his life with the other being meeting his wife.

Mr Sargisson said the police were able to give "credibility" to what happened to him and meant it could be dealt with.

The 53-year-old urged other potential victims to speak out.

He said: "If there's abuse in your life you need to come forward.

"It doesn't matter when it happened, what mattered is it happened. It won't be easy but it will resolve a number of things in a very, very positive way."

Mr Sargisson said he did not feel it was "the end of the story" for Bracondale School.

He said: "If it happened to you, you need to talk about it."

Det Con Laura Webb, officer in the case, praised the "extreme bravery" of Foxley's victims for coming forward, adding the sentence Foxley received was "justice for the victims".


Detective Chief Inspector Dave Freeman, senior investigating officer, and Detective Constable Laura

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Freeman, senior investigating officer, and Detective Constable Laura Webb, in charge of the case, in the sexual abuse case at the former Bracondale School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Det Chief Insp Dave Freeman, the senior investigating officer, said there was the potential for more victims to be out there and urged them to contact police on 101.

Norfolk Constabulary alongside the NHS fund the Norfolk Sexual Assault Referral Centre, providing care for victims of rape and serious sexual assault of all ages in Norfolk. For help call 01603 276381.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter