Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire teacher jailed for sex offences against girls

Benjamin Sarfas Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption The judge at Winchester Crown Court said he shared the "shock and horror" of the parents of Benjamin Sarfas's victims

A junior school teacher who committed a series of "disgusting and appalling" sexual offences against nine girls has been jailed for three years.

Benjamin Sarfas, 31, who worked at Kempshott Junior School in Basingstoke, admitted seven counts of sexual assault against children under 13.

The offences involved him groping the bottoms of pupils, the court heard.

Sarfas, from Winchester, also pleaded guilty to 11 counts of taking indecent photographs of children.

The teacher, who used a phone to film some of his victims, who were aged between eight and 11, also admitted one count of voyeurism.

Passing sentence at Winchester Crown Court, Judge Keith Cutler told him he shared the "shock and horror" of his victims' parents.

'Lost her zest'

He said: "All these actions can be described as disgusting and appalling: the effects on these children has been significant, blighting what should have been a carefree youth."

He ordered Sarfas to sign the sex offenders register for life, banned him from working with children and ordered the destruction of his computer equipment.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said the crimes came to light when two of the victims were overheard by a parent talking about the attacks during a sleepover.

One parent wrote that her daughter had "lost her zest" after the abuse and said: "It's devastating as a mother to see this and I am not sure she will get this back."

Dee Connolly, mitigating, said that Sarfas was undergoing counselling to help prevent any further offending.

She added: "He is a broken man whose life is ruined and who will never have the career he loved again."

He has been dismissed by the school where he has worked since 2011.

Det Con Andy Panter said: "In this case, Sarfas used his position to take advantage of young girls.

"Those young victims have all shown a huge amount of courage to speak out."

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