Teacher jailed for child sexual offences - Hermitage

21/04/2017

A man appeared at Reading Crown Court today, Friday, 21 April 2017, and was given an extended sentence, of 15 years' imprisonment with an extended licence period of 1 year, for child sexual offences in Hermitage between March 2005 and April 2007.

Francis Beaumont, aged 52, abused his position of trust as an English teacher and took advantage of his status to prey on a young schoolboy, aged between 11-13, and abused him for his own sexual gratification. Beaumont befriended the victim and spoke to him about adult topics, which, as a child, made him feel empowered, special and grown up. On a school trip to France, Beaumont gave the victim a camera and asked him to take photos of himself in the bathroom. The abuse intensified on their return from France, took place in Beaumont's accommodation, within the school grounds, and in his cars, and only stopped when the victim moved to another school in 2006.

Beaumont denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct and described the victim as a fantasist, who had fabricated the allegations against him. However, on 20 February 2017, at Reading Crown Court, he was found guilty of rape of a child under 13, two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and three counts of sexual activity with a child, by a jury, following a 9-day trial, despite his denials.

Helena Burman, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "It is only due to the great courage of the victim that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to him for his strength and tenacity in coming forward.

"The convictions and today's sentence serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those that know such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward and that time is no barrier to justice. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"The emotional impact, on the victim and his family, of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions and today's sentence gives some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."