Oxfordshire school teacher jailed for abusing pupils

A primary school teacher from Oxfordshire who abused a number of pupils has been jailed for five years.

The indecent assaults were carried out on seven girls aged between seven and 11 over a two-and-a-half year period up until May this year.

The teacher admitted 23 counts of sexual assault and possessing 19 indecent images of children.

Judge Gordon Risius at Oxford Crown Court described the teacher's actions as a "very serious breach of trust".

The man's identity and the school he taught at cannot be reported for legal reasons.

'Despicable betrayal'

Oxfordshire County Council said he had passed all the necessary checks before he started work at the school.

In a statement, Meera Spillett, director of children, young people and families, said: "This was a despicable betrayal of trust by this man and we are pleased that he has admitted his guilt and has now been given a custodial sentence.

"Prior to the allegations being made, there had not been any reported concerns about his conduct and all the necessary checks had been carried out.

"Support has been offered to everyone within the school community.

"The school is now looking towards the future but support will continue to be made available for anyone who needs it."

A statement from one of the victims' mothers was read out in court.

In it she said during the abuse her daughter "would wake screaming in the night and suffer panic attacks".

But following counselling she "laughs again".

Devastating effect

Det Con Alex Gill, of Thames Valley Police, said the families involved were now able to try and move on following the sentence.

She added: "It's had a devastating effect on the children and their families.

"This is something that's going to live with them for some time.

"I've been working in this department for some time and this is the first case of this nature I've had to deal with, and hopefully we don't see many of them at all, it's very rare."

Judge Risius said the teacher "relied on the girls' embarrassment not to tell anyone about what was happening".

He told him he faced a "a bleak future in prison".

The teacher, aged in his 50s, was also given a sexual offences prevention order.

The conditions on the order include not entering a school, not being alone with a child and not having access to the internet without police authority.

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