Former teacher jailed for 12 years

    It's for offences against children in Plymouth

    Paul Ruth, 53, appeared before Plymouth Crown Court for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to 17 offences including sexual assault on a child under 13 by touching, indecent assault, committing an act of gross indecency in front of a child and buggery.

    The charges relate to six victims, with 17 offences being committed in Plymouth between 1991 and 2009.

    Ruth, of Finnis Road in Amesbury, Wiltshire, has been in jail since a court appearance last November when he asked to be allowed to start his impending sentence straight away.

    Today he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for the offences committed. The sentences will run concurrently.

    Ruth was arrested on 27 December 2016 after turning himself into police. He attended Charles Cross police station in Plymouth after he became aware that an allegation had been made against him. At the station he told police he had been abusing children and wanted help.

    A police investigation was launched and it was established that Ruth had worked with children in various capacities over three decades, having previously been a school governor, a teaching assistant, a boxing coach and a cadet instructor in locations across Plymouth and Devon.

    Enquiries were undertaken and police identified a number of individuals who had suffered abuse by Ruth.

    Detective Inspector Stephanie Blundell, of the Public Protection Unit in Plymouth, said “Ruth is a manipulative individual who groomed his victims and those around him to provide him with the opportunities to commit offences against children who he was entrusted to protect.

    “His crimes are an abhorrent abuse of the trust placed in him and we praise the courage of the victims in this case for the strength they have demonstrated in coming forward.

    “This case is demonstrative of our commitment to getting justice for victims no matter how much time has passed since the offences happened. I would encourage anyone who has been affected by this case to contact police, quoting enquiry number EN/17129/17.”

    If anyone feels they have been a victim of non-recent sexual abuse and would like to talk to someone to seek advice, they can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or via

    Police can also be contacted via or by phone on 101.

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