Man jailed for sexual offences - Oxfordshire

17/01/2013

A 52-year-old man has today, Thursday, 17 January 2013, been sentenced at Oxford Crown Court to four years imprisonment after admitting a series of sexual offences against children.

The man was charged with 17 counts of assault against girls under 13 between 2004 and 2010 by way of intentional sexual touching, possessing five discs containing 241 indecent images of children, 11 counts of taking indecent photographs in 2006, and one count of voyeurism - recording a private act - between September 2004 and July 2005.

The charges relate to a primary school in South Oxfordshire where the man worked as a teacher.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched. This case involved the serious sexual abuse of children at a school in Oxfordshire. The man was a trusted member of the teaching staff at the school where the complainants were pupils. The young age of the victims greatly increases the seriousness of the offences.

"Not only did he breach the trust of the pupils at the school, their parents and the staff, he also abused his position of authority in order to gain access to his victims. I would like to pay tribute to the victims in this case and their strength in coming forward. This has clearly been a difficult time for them, their family, and the staff at the school.

"The guilty plea reflected the strength of the prosecution case against him, and meant that his victims did not have to give evidence in court.

"This conviction serves as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these that they should come forward regardless of when the offence occurred. The CPS will work closely with partners to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"The sentence imposed today recognises the seriousness of the offences and the vulnerability of the victims.

"The impact of this man's offending on the victims is impossible to quantify. I hope that the sentence gives some comfort to the victims involved, so that they can now put this unpleasant episode behind them and move on with their lives. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Bird said: "This has been a lengthy and complex investigation, working alongside our partner agencies, which began in July last year. As part of our inquiry 67 children were assessed by police officers working with partner agencies and 12 children were evidentially interviewed by police officers.

"This resulted in charges of contact offending against 10 children with offences against a further seven children being asked to be taken into consideration.

"I would like to thank all those children who came forward and spoke to the police. Their courage and bravery means that we can now protect the wider community and ensure that they receive appropriate support. The actions of these children are truly commendable.

"I would also like to thank the school who has been very supportive throughout our investigation.

"Offences of the type uncovered in this investigation are amongst the most serious criminal offences committed against vulnerable young children in their primary school. Thames Valley Police are committed to protecting the vulnerable; we will relentlessly pursue those that commit this type of crime and bring them to justice."