Former PE teacher abused boys at cricket club and high school

Gordon Barkham offered one of the boys money to perform a sexual act while he was still a teenager.

Former PE teacher Gordon Barkham abused boys at cricket club and high school in Scottish Borders Google Maps

A PE teacher who sexually abused teenage boys has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Gordon Barkham, 78, repeatedly offered one of his victims money to allow him to perform a sexual act on him.

Barkham said the teenager would get £30 for the first time it occurred and £15 for further occasions.

Barkham directed sexual comments towards the youth and physical contact from him left the victim feeling “very uncomfortable”.

Barkham, of Melrose, in the Borders, admitted directing sexual communications to the teenager and repeatedly offering him money for sexual acts at a cricket club between February and May in 2014.

He also pled guilty to indecently assaulting two other boys at cricket clubs. 

One of them was also subjected to sexual abuse by him at a secondary school.

Judge Lord Armstrong told Barkham that a custodial sentence was the only appropriate disposal.

He said: “The first of these charges concerns a grave breach of trust on your part.

“I have read victim impact statements from the other two victims which described the devastating effects your conduct has had and continues to have on their development, physical and emotional health and relationships.

“The lasting effects on them is incalculable.

“These crimes are disturbing and grave and society is abhorrent to such conduct.

“It is the responsibility of the court to reflect that.”

Barkham began molesting one boy when he was aged 14 in 1976 and subjected the child to repeated abuse.

Advocate depute Gavin Dewar stated the retired PE teacher had told the teenager that he was carrying out a survey when he first sexually touched him.

The prosecutor said the victim later told Barkham that the abuse had to stop and the teacher told him not to tell anyone.

Barkham went on to sexually abuse another boy who was aged 15 in 1990. The teenager told him: “No, I don’t want it.”

The court heard that Barkham was previously jailed for two years for sexual offences against young male school pupils in 1980 and was released after serving a year of the sentence.

Jennifer Bain KC, defending, told the sentencing: “He said his behaviour was deliberately planned and that it was a breach of trust.

“He accepts this was an abuse of his authority.

“He knows his behaviour was wrong and does not blame anyone else for his actions.

“Mr Barkham knows his behaviour caused harm and regrets the distress he has caused.”

Barkham was put on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period of time as well as his prison sentence.

An NSPCC Scotland spokesperson said: “Barkham is a serial child sex offender and it is testament to the courage of those who have bravely spoken out that he is now in prison.

“It’s crucial that all those who have been affected by Barkham’s actions get the help and support they need to move forward with their lives.

“It is never too late to speak out about child sexual abuse regardless of how long ago the abuse took place. Adults can get support about non-recent abuse or raise concerns about a child through the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or via “

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