Teacher sentenced for child abduction


Brian Knowles, a former deputy head teacher at a Coventry school, was today sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years concurrent on each of four counts of child abduction at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

Mr Knowles, aged 57, was arrested and charged after a pupil informed one of his colleagues of an improper relationship which he had developed with a 15 year-old girl.  

Elizabeth Jack, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Brian Knowles was a highly experienced and respected teacher but nevertheless embarked on a personal relationship with the 15 year-old in the course of which he met her, took her out in his car and exchanged hundreds of text messages with her.

"As his school's child protection lead, Mr Knowles was fully aware that by taking the victim out on shopping trips and to restaurants without the permission or knowledge of her parents, his actions contravened the law. He would have also been aware that buying her gifts and using her mobile telephone number to send her text messages of an affectionate and intimate nature was totally inappropriate. 

"A friend of the victim became aware of what the defendant was doing and she subsequently became so concerned that she notified a teacher at his school who in turn then called the relevant authorities.

"The resulting police investigation and the subsequent court proceedings have had a far reaching and damaging effect on the victim, consequences of which the defendant appears to have been heedless when embarking on the relationship.

"Parents and students should be able to trust in teachers and rely on them not to develop inappropriate relationships with children. If they cross this line, then the consequences can be very serious for all those involved."