School sports coach sentenced for sexual offences

|News, Sexual offences

A school sports coach who lied about having a brain tumour to start a relationship with a pupil has been sentenced at Swansea Crown Court.

Rhian Nokes, 29, was working at a school in South Wales in 2010 when she befriended a 13-year-old pupil.

Over the course of the next three years, Nokes lied to the pupil about her health and family issues in order to gain sympathy and trust from her. The defendant initially encouraged the pupil to exchange mobile numbers and text messages outside of school, Swansea Crown Court heard.

She progressed to encouraging the pupil, then aged 15, to meet outside of school and start a sexual relationship. 

Nicola Powell, from the CPS, said: “Rhian Nokes hid behind her reputation as an accomplished sportswoman and abused the position of trust she held at the school to manipulate the victim and fulfil her own sexual gratification.

“In order to facilitate the relationship, the defendant deceived the victim about her health, feigning treatment for a brain tumour by shaving her hair and feigning seizures in the presence of the pupil. The relationship ended after the victim uncovered the lies. She subsequently reported the matter to the police when she became concerned that Nokes was acting inappropriately towards another pupil.

“Nokes initially denied being involved in a sexual relationship with the pupil.  However, as a result of the bravery of the victim giving evidence at trial and overwhelming telephone evidence to support the pupil’s account, she changed her plea to guilty to all the offences.”

The defendant was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.  A Sexual Harassment Prevention Order was made and Nokes was also ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely.

Notes to editors

  • Nicola Powell is Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service
  • Rhian Nokes (DOB 13/02/1989) was convicted of three counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in a position of trust, two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual activity with a child.

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