Cambridgeshire

Music teacher jailed for historical sex offences at two schools

Simon Ball Image copyright Terry Harris/Paperpix.co.uk
Image caption Simon Ball committed the offences while a teacher at two schools in Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire

A former music teacher who sexually abused teenage girls at two schools has been jailed for 12 years.

Simon Ball, 42, admitted abusing one pupil at Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire and was convicted of offences against three others at Giggleswick School in North Yorkshire.

Peterborough Crown Court heard Ball caused "great harm" to his victims.

An NSPCC spokesman said he had "abused a position of trust to exploit and manipulate young girls".

During a nine day trial, jurors were told told Ball had escaped prosecution at Giggleswick School near Settle in 2001 before offending again at Kimbolton School near Huntingdon, where he was director of music, in 2004.

He was arrested in February 2015 after reports were made to police that he had been having a sexual relationship with a student he taught at Kimbolton.

The Giggleswick investigation was then reopened.

Image copyright Humphrey Bolton/Geograph
Image caption Ball was a teacher at Giggleswick School in North Yorkshire when the alleged offences happened in the early 2000s

Ball left his job during the investigation and has since separated from his wife.

Gregory Perrins, prosecuting, told the jury Ball had sex with one pupil in different locations and on multiple occasions including in the school music room and on top of his wife's wedding dress at his home.

Jonathan Belbin, headmaster of Kimbolton School, described Ball's actions as "appalling".

He said: "We are truly sorry that a former member of staff so abused his position of trust and our thoughts are with all the victims at this time. The welfare of our pupils is always our priority."

Jailing Ball for five and seven years to run consecutively, Judge Sean Enright told him: "These offences were all about satisfying your fantasies.

"There was never anything in it for the girls."

Image copyright Julian Osley/Geograph
Image caption Ball admitted five counts of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust at Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire

He added that Ball, whom he described as a "talented musician", would never work in a school again as a result of the "great harm" he caused to his victims.

A jury was unable to reach verdicts on four further counts.

Ball, of Newent, Gloucestershire, admitted five counts of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust at Kimbolton School and was found guilty of four counts of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust and one count of indecent assault at Giggleswick School.

In a statement, the NSPCC said the failure of a school investigation to uncover his crimes "remains a cause for serious concern".

It said: "As a teacher, Ball had a duty of care to his pupils. Instead, he pursued a campaign of abuse that lasted more than a decade.

"It is thanks to the bravery his victims have shown in speaking out that he has finally been brought to justice and we hope today's sentence will bring some comfort to them."

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Former music teacher Simon Ball has been jailed for 12 years for sexually abusing teenage pupils at two schools

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