'Predatory' son of Greggs bakery founder jailed over abuse of young boys

Fiona Simpson
'Predatory paedophile': Colin Gregg has been jailed over the abuse of four young boys: PA

The “sophisticated, predatory” son of the founder of bakery chain Greggs has been jailed for 13-and-a-half years after assaulting four young boys.

Colin Gregg, 75, was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court having been convicted of nine counts of indecent assault on his victims over a period of decades.

Gregg, who helped build up the family business and also worked as a social worker, abused his positions of trust as a teacher and headteacher to sexually abuse boys, Judge Robin Mairs said.

He denied all the charges, claiming he was the victim of a "witch hunt" and that the complainants were looking for compensation.

Gregg grew wealthy from the family business and helped to raise thousands of pounds for children's charities, the court heard.

The judge said: "It is true you have enjoyed great wealth, privilege and social standing.

"It is also true that you used those benefits as a cloak of respectability behind which you sexually abused young boys.

"You were a charismatic, inspiring teacher and mentor but you used those attributes to groom boys and to protect yourself from allegations."

Gregg's defence was that the complainants were fantasists and liars, but the judge said the jury heard their evidence and they were convinced it was the defendant who was lying.

Gregg, from Gosforth, Newcastle, abused one victim in a swimming pool, the others were molested in a gym, his study or a car.

The judge said: "This was sophisticated predatory behaviour, you are a sophisticated predatory paedophile."

The lengthy jail 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.

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