Ex-teacher, 76, who taught at Boris Johnson’s old school is fighting extradition from South Africa over allegations he abused ten boys between 1970 and 1990
- David Price, 76 is alleged to have sexually assaulted boys at Ashdown House
- He taught there from 1970 and Mr Johnson was a pupil there from 1975 to 1977
- British authorities requested he be returned to the UK to face justice in 2018
- His lawyers claim Brexit means there is no extradition between South Africa
- Mr Price worked at Brockhurst School in Berkshire during the 1980s and 1990s
A retired teacher accused of historic sex offences at two boys’ schools including Boris Johnson’s alma mater is trying to avoid extradition from South Africa.
David Price is alleged to have sexually assaulted ten boys between 1970 and 1990, with 33 charges relating to Ashdown House School in East Sussex when the Prime Minister was a pupil there.
The British authorities requested he be returned to the UK to face justice in November 2018. But the 76-year-old’s lawyers are claiming Brexit means there is no extradition agreement between the two countries. The UK’s extradition arrangements with South Africa have never been the same as those used by EU member states. A Home Office source described the legal argument as ‘effectively nonsense’.
David Price outside the retirement home in the Cape Town suburb of Rondebosch called Avondrust Court
Price taught history, geography and sport at Ashdown from 1970 until the 1980s.
Mr Johnson was a pupil there from 1975 to 1977. There is no suggestion he is among the alleged victims. His sister Rachel was the first girl boarder at the school in 1976. She said: ‘In those days, the three Cs – the cane, cricket and classics – were fetishistically followed.’
Price subsequently worked at Brockhurst School in Berkshire during the 1980s and 1990s, where he faces another nine charges. All the alleged offences involve sexual touching and performing sex acts on children or having them perform sex acts on him.
He later moved to his native South Africa where he taught at a school for the deaf for a decade until his retirement. During that time one of his pupils nominated him for Woolworths Teacher of the Year, a national award that he went on to win.
Class photo: Rachel and Price, circled
After a year in retirement he became bored and found a job tutoring children privately until his arrest in November 2019 following an application by the British government.
Price, who is single, was released on bail and lives at a retirement home in Cape Town which has a pre-school in its grounds. Its website states: ‘The children and elderly residents get together for super fun activities.’
Cape Town is appealing against a judgment that unexpectedly backed Price’s lawyers’ claims about extradition.
The Prime Minister in his schooldays at Ashdown House
A source close to the case said: ‘The applications are totally without merit. He is effectively filibustering to avoid being sent back to the UK and face trial.’
An investigation into Price was launched by British police in 2014 when an alleged victim came forward. Speaking outside his retirement home yesterday, Price dismissed the charges as ‘purely a figment of their imagination’. He claimed he was the victim of a ‘conspiracy… stirred up by disgruntled parents who wanted to bring me down and get even because they didn’t like me or because I was too strict’.
He added: ‘I was not unkind but I was tough with kids who misbehaved and would punish them.’ Ashdown was renowned for the teachers’ use of corporal punishment.
Ashdown House School in East Sussex
The school, which charged nearly £30,000 a year for boarders aged eight to 13, has been hit by other paedophilia claims and was facing a wave of compensation cases from former pupils. It closed last year, blaming ‘the impact of coronavirus’. Brockhurst School, which charges £28,500 per year for three to 13-year-olds, was approached for a comment.
A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: ‘We are appealing the decision in South Africa. It would not be appropriate to comment further.’