Former Worcester teacher jailed for raping woman

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Michael Leydon, 61, was jailed for six years and six months at Worcester Crown Court

A former teacher who raped a woman and blamed the attack on "drink, tablets and stress" has been jailed

Michael Leydon, 61, claimed he was stressed in 2014 after son, Christopher, had been arrested on suspicion of rape.

He was found guilty of rape, and acquitted of a second charge, at Worcester Crown Court last month.

Sentencing at the court on Friday, Judge James Burbage QC ordered Leydon to serve six years and six months.

His trial heard Leydon had been a teacher at a school in Worcester in the 1980s, and had also taught in Redditch and Hereford.

Leydon, formerly of Diglis, Worcester but now of Worthing in West Sussex, retired from teaching in 2017.

He claimed sex had been consensual, but sent a number of text messages including one which read: "I did something disgusting as a result of drink, tablets and stress."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Leydon was convicted of a charge of rape and cleared of a second charge at Worcester Crown Court last month

Robert Tolhurst, defending, urged the judge to take into account Leydon's previous good character and the depression and anxiety he was feeling at the time of the offence.

"He respects the verdict of the jury but he continues to maintain his innocence," Mr Tolhurst said.

"It was clearly a terrible, terrible act but a mistake."

Leydon's son Christopher, then 28, was jailed for seven years in 2017 after being found guilty of child sex offences, including rape.

After reading character references, the judge accepted that Christopher Leydon's arrest had placed a "significant burden of pressure" on his father.

"In a single moment you lost leave of your senses," Judge Burbage said.

"It is difficult to comprehend why you did that."

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