A CATHOLIC priest and a maths teacher have been cleared of sexually assaulting a boy at St Benedict's School back in the 1970s.
Father David Pearce, 69, formerly of Ealing Abbey in Charlbury Grove, who is already serving a sentence for indecent assaults had insisted he was not guilty of the latest allegations.
Both he and former master of discipline John Maestri, 73, of Chatham, Kent, were acquitted by an Isleworth Crown Court jury on Friday of three counts of indecent assault on a child under the age of 16.
It was alleged the boy was groped after being caned by Maestri, and again after he went to Father Pearce for help.
Mr Maestri denied caning anyone and denied abusing the boy which he maintained either never happened or it was something carried out by a colleague.
The former pupil had only decided to come forward last year after reading in the Times newspaper about another case involving the pair dating back to the 70s, the jury was told.
It was revealed that both men had been found guilty of a string of other offences at the school, in Eaton Rise, Ealing.
Father Pearce was jailed for five years in 2009 for sex abuse and indecent assaults on youngsters.
Maestri was jailed for 30 months in 2003 for indecent assaults, and barred from working with children and ordered to sign on the sex offender register for life.
In June 2005 he was given a community rehabilitation order for indecently assaulting a boy under 14 between 1982 and 1983.
And in January 2009, more victims emerged and he was convicted of indecently assaulting a boy under 14 between 1979 and 1981.
On that occasion he was given a two-year prison term suspended for two years.
Father Pearce's offences were committed against five pupils between 1972 and 2008 and Maestri indecently assaulted three boys under 16 between 1980 and 1984.
It also emerged during the trial that allegations against another priest, Father Laurence Soper, 80, were not followed up by the school.
Maestri told the court that when a parent told him that Father Soper had touched a boy inappropriately, he thought "it seemed common knowledge” and said he didn’t do anything about it.
Both men were school masters at the private fee paying Roman Catholic school, Mr Maestri taught maths and other subjects.