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Tuesday, 29 January 2013
ODD WORLD: Teacher, 41, is jailed for groping girl
A teacher has been jailed for more than two and a half years after repeatedly groping a 15-year-old girl in his office.
David Timmins, 41, who was in charge of child protection at Ercall Wood Technology College in Telford, Shropshire, bombarded the schoolgirl with emails and showered her with gifts.
The history teacher even offered to give her money for hair dye and talked about eloping with her before luring her into his office at break times where he kissed her and touched her inappropriately.
Timmins even turned up at the girl’s work experience placement where he kissed and hugged her.
When he was caught and arrested on child sex charges, Timmins initially tried to blame the school for ‘over promoting’ him.
He was jailed for two years and eight months at Shrewsbury Crown Court after admitting three counts of sexual activity with a child under 16.
Sentencing him, Judge Robin Onions told Timmins: ‘You will know that as a teacher you were in a position of trust.
‘In your particular case the position of trust was particularly important because you were also the pastoral manager.
‘The victim in this case was only 15-years-old. She was vulnerable because you were in a pupil-teacher relationship where all the power lay with you.
‘You claim you were over-promoted as pastoral manager but that’s no reason, no excuse for you to turn your feelings into an emotional response to this pupil.
‘You were in fact the one who was making all the running, it was cloud cuckoo land because you were talking of a future that you could never have together.
‘The victim was vulnerable due to her age, due to the fact that she had been bullied and she had little sexual and emotional experience.
‘It’s perfectly clear as a teacher you had talent and you had a career until you threw it all away with this particular behaviour.’
The court heard Timmins had worked at the school – which caters for 660 pupils aged 11-16 – for 14 years before he was put in charge of child protection.
The court heard he initially spoke to the victim about their shared interest in history, music and being bullied at school but soon the relationship developed.
Position of responsibility: Ercall Wood Technology College in Telford where David Timmons workedTimmins began seeing the girl before and after school as well as at break times where he would kiss her on the lips.
When she was questioned, the victim told police that Timmins had touched her, both over and under her clothing, while they were in his office at the school.
He was eventually caught after he accidentally emailed a former pupil instead of the girl in May last year.
He was arrested when the woman, who was at university, contacted the headteacher in September after discussing rumours about the teacher with her friends during the summer.
Prosecutor Robert Edwards said: ‘This matter first came to light when she received two emails from the defendant. It was immediately obvious to her there had been a mistake.
‘Later that day she received an email asking her to delete the emails.
‘She was away at university at the time and when she returned she met up with some friends and these friends discussed a rumour about the defendant and a pupil.
‘It’s perfectly clear as a teacher you had talent and you had a career until you threw it all away with this particular behaviour.’Judge Robin Onions
‘On September 10 she contacted the headteacher, she disclosed to him the existence of the emails and he realised they related to this defendant and a pupil at the school.
‘The defendant was working as a history teacher and perhaps more worryingly he was also the school’s pastoral manager dealing with students’ personal problems.
‘Later that day the girl, who was aged 15 at that time, was spoken to by police.
‘Things had progressed to exchanging emails out of school hours and from there things developed to the defendant and the young lady seeing each other before school, at break times and after school.
‘Things first became physical when the girl was on work experience.
‘The defendant visited her placement and during that visit he hugged her and he instigated them kissing each other on the lips.
‘She said they talked about eloping together, what sort of house they would live in when she left school and that they loved each other.’
Timmins was arrested and initially given bail but was re-arrested and remanded in custody after officers discovered he was trying to contact the girl via Facebook.
Mr Edwards added: ‘During a second interview the complainant made further disclosures.
‘She began by saying it was very much the defendant who was the driving force behind the relationship.
‘She said it was the defendant who had instigated the first physical contact between them and he had discussed moving away together on more than one occasion.’
Michael Sherwood-Smith, defending, said: ‘Mr Timmins accepts total responsibility for this relationship.
‘He has great respect for her intellectual and emotional responsibility but clearly he’s over estimated the latter.’
Timmins was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and barred from working with children for life