Liverpool

Wirral teacher jailed for assaulting pupils

Charles Ellis Image copyright Lynda Roughley
Image caption The court heard Charles Ellis was "motivated by sexual gratification"

A primary school teacher who repeatedly sexually assaulted pupils in his care has been jailed for three years.

Charles Ellis, 60, of Upton, Chester, was previously convicted of assaulting girls, aged between seven and 10, at a Wirral school.

His trial heard he was spoken to by police in 2013 but no action was taken.

Ellis, a former zoo keeper at Chester Zoo, was also ordered to sign Sex Offenders Register for life. A Sexual Harm Prevention Order was also imposed.

Sentencing him at Chester Crown Court, Judge Thomas Teague QC said: "This case is a tragedy for your victims, for yourself and for your family.

"For those consequences, including the loss of your career and good name, you are solely responsible."

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Ellis was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register

During his trial at Liverpool Crown Court, the jury heard one of his victims told her mother about his behaviour in 2013.

Merseyside Police confirmed he was interviewed by them but no further action was taken "on evidential grounds".

The court heard a colleague saw him touching a girl in a manner which made her uncomfortable in June 2016, and reported him to the deputy head mistress.

He was given training and warned not to be alone with a child.

'Sexual gratification'

The following April, she saw him behaving in a similar way and reported him but before action was taken the victim had contacted police. He was then suspended.

Charlotte Kenny, prosecuting, said Ellis was "motivated by sexual gratification".

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Insp Paul Parry, of Merseyside Police, thanked the victims for their "bravery, patience and strength".

The chair of the school's governors said the school was "absolutely committed to the safety and welfare of all pupils".

"What Mr Ellis did was truly horrifying and everyone involved with the school will be united in condemning his actions and welcoming the guilty verdict," the chair said.

"Throughout this case, the school has acted decisively - supporting the family in reporting allegations to the police and suspending Mr Ellis immediately, following the policy, procedures and guidance given to them by the Local Authority Designated Officer, Human Resources, the police and legal representatives.

"Ellis was dismissed by the school's governing body."

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