Police had been aware of the former Latin teacher as early as 1989, after reports of inappropriate behaviour towards children at Shebbear College, a boarding school in Devon.He was not prosecuted as parents did not want to put their children through a court case, but his notes would have been kept on record.Once there, he plied them with drugs and alcohol, bathed them and rubbed them in oils before sexually assaulting them, a jury was told.Those he ‘fancied’ would sleep in his bed – unclothed so ‘they would not dirty his sheets’.Many were sexually abused several times – they would go back because they wanted food and they wanted money.They felt they didn’t have a choice.’The jury failed to reach a verdict on one charge of rape of a nine-year-old.A serious case review is under way into how he was able to slip through the net of West Mercia Police and social services.
Several more children came forward to complain about Harris and he was charged in July 2013.
The boys Harris targeted were subjected to horrific ordeals for hours on end in his luxury Kenyan home.
One of his alleged victims – who bravely gave evidence from Kenya via Skype – was so traumatised by his ordeal that he killed himself during the proceedings, a fact that was revealed to the jury only yesterday.
Michael Kamondia died on December 7, just days before the jury retired to consider their verdicts.
The charge relating to Mr Kamondia’s allegation was withdrawn midway through the trial because of a legal technicality.