Colin Gregg (pictured) was today jailed for 13 and a half years after being convicted at Newcastle Crown Court.
The son of the founder of Greggs bakery chain was today jailed for 13-and-a-half years for indecently assaulting four boys.
Colin Gregg, 75, a formerly respected headteacher of a private school, was branded a ‘sophisticated, predatory paedophile’ as he was jailed this afternoon.
The former social worker and committed charity worker targeted the four boys over three decades from the 1960s through to the 1990s, the court heard.
He was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court after being convicted of nine counts of indecent assault on four boys over a period of decades.
Gregg, who is the son of famous baker John Gregg, helped build up the family business.
But he abused his positions of trust as a teacher and headteacher to sexually abuse boys, Judge Robin Mairs said.
He worked at prestigious schools in Tynemouth and Durham during his teaching career and denied wrongdoing, claiming he had been the victim of a witch hunt after being cleared of similar offending in the past.
But after a trial at Leeds Crown Court a jury convicted Gregg of nine offences of indecent assault.
Each victim was under 15-years-old when they were abused, the court heard.
After being sentenced, Gregg, of Newcastle, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register and was banned from working with children for life.
His father was best known as the founder of Greggs, which has gone on to open more than 1,700 stores across the UK after opening in 1951.
Judge Mairs told Gregg: ‘It is said on your behalf you have lived a life of notably good deeds. It is true you have enjoyed great wealth, privilege and social standing.
‘It is also true you used those benefits as a cloak of respectability, behind which you sexually abused young boys.
‘You were a charasmatic, inspiring teacher and mentor but you used those attributes to groom boys and protect yourself from allegations.
‘Your defence was the complainants were fantasists and liars. The jury heard their evidence, given with clarity and considerable courage.
‘They found the lies were on your part and the fantasies were you sexual desires for young boys.’
He showed no remorse, emotion or expression as he stood in the dock to learn his fate.
Judge Mairs added: ‘You were trusted with the care of young boys and you abused that trust repeatedly, in the most horrendous fashion.
‘The impact upon the is lifelong. ‘You have not one shred of remorse, not one pang of conscience over what you did.’
The court heard Gregg used his outward decency as a mask to ‘conceal his true nature’ and exploit his trusted status in society.
One man told the trial he was assaulted by Gregg in a swimming pool at a school.
The other men said they were targeted at a gym, where he would invite boys, and that other assaults took place in the former teacher’s study and car.
Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, told the court: ‘Colin Gregg’s good character enabled him to gain the positions which he then abused.’
In an impact statement read at the sentence hearing, one of the victims said it was the mental effects rather than the assault itself that has had the biggest impact on him.
He said: ‘The experience of indecent assault at the hands of Colin Gregg has not defined my life but has been a significant sub-plot that has been running for some 29 years.’
The victim said he spent years contemplating if the abuse on him was ‘reality or a dream’ and even convinced himself he was to blame.
He added: ‘I was never motivated by vengeance, rather a desire to set reality straight. ‘
Another victim, who was forced to relive his ordeal decades later, said in his statement: ‘I hope I can put it all behind me and never hear the name Colin Gregg again. ‘
Sasha Wass QC, defending, said Gregg has dedicated his life to doing good for others and many character witnesses would say as such.
She added: ‘He has been happily married for 50 years. He is a father and grandfather. ‘
The lengthy sentence came more than 20 years since police first investigated an allegation against Gregg.
He was cleared of groping a boy at a trial in the late 1990s, then more complainants came forward but a judge ruled he could not be tried on those allegations.
Last year he was tried when more victims made complaints and a jury in Newcastle cleared him of some counts but could not agree verdicts on others.
That led to a retrial at Leeds Crown Court which concluded earlier this month with nine convictions.
John Dilworth, from the CPS, said: ‘Colin Gregg appeared to be a successful businessman, respected teacher and committed charity worker. But he exploited his position in society to abuse young boys.
‘I would like to praise the bravery of his victims whose evidence allowed prosecutors to build a compelling case against Gregg, leading to his conviction. I hope today’s sentence brings them a sense of justice.’