Manchester

Teacher Richard Jones jailed for pupil sex abuse

A religious education teacher who admitted having a sexual relationship with a teenage pupil has been jailed.

Richard Jones, 57, of Gorton Road, Stockport, was found out when his victim's family found explicit emails he had sent.

The investigation into Jones led to a Liverpool woman coming forward to say he had abused her in the 1970s.

He admitted 12 sexual offences at Manchester Crown Court and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had approached Jones for emotional support while dealing with personal problems.

He had gone on to set up one-on-one meetings in his classroom where he had groped and kissed her, before meeting her several times in secret in a local park where more sexual activity took place.

The court heard colleagues had passed on concerns about Jones to management at his South Manchester high school, which led to him being suspended three weeks before the abuse was discovered.

He was found out when the girl's family accessed her computer in an attempt to find out where she was and discovered the explicit messages.

'Shot across the bows'

On arrest, Jones made no comment, but the girl said the pair were in love and that Jones had suggested they have sex but she had refused.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual activity with a child and one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity in relation to the recent abuse, and seven counts of indecent assault in relation to the historical case against a girl aged under 13.

Sentencing him, Judge Robert Atherton said Jones had ignored the "shot across the bows" of the suspension and that the abuse constituted a "severe breach of trust".

"She was clearly a vulnerable girl. She came to you for support and no doubt felt you were in a position to give her that support. But you betrayed her.

"While it is clear that she did not protest against your sexual activities with her, it is also clear that you must have been grooming her in those days and weeks over which this all occurred."

Jones was sentenced to six years for the recent offences and two years for the earlier ones.

He was also ordered to be on the Sex Offenders Register for life and banned from working with children.

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