January 2010

Maths teacher who groomed bullied pupil for sex is jailed

A maths teacher who groomed a bullied pupil online before having sex with her in a school cupboard has been jailed for 15 months.

David Weedon, 36, contacted the schoolgirl on MSN messenger after she was moved into his tutor group when she self-harmed as a result of severe bullying.

The married father-of-four then encouraged the vulnerable 16-year-old to send lewd emails and had sex with her in a maths cupboard on several occasions.

Their four-month affair only came to light after the schoolgirl started college and confided in friends and tutors.

Weedon, from Westbury, Wilts., pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual activity with a teenage girl and one charge of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was jailed for 15 months at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday, where Judge David Ticehurst described him as a ‘sexual predator’.

He said: ‘This case is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy for the victim, for you and your family.

‘You had a position of responsibility and as a result of your passion for a young girl you have lost all of that, your reputation, your employment and but for the grace of God and your wife, you would have lost your family.’  

Weedon first contacted the Year 9 pupil in March 2007 when she was aged 15 after she suffered severe bullying and was moved into his tutor group.

He began grooming her on MSN messenger before persuading her to create a Yahoo account so they could exchange emails of a sexual nature.

Weedon then ‘created opportunities’ so that he could have sex with the schoolgirl, who was by then aged 16, in his maths cupboard on several occasions.

Their affair ended in July 2007 and Weedon was arrested in February 2008 after his victim confided in friends and tutors at her new college.

He told police he only had sex with the girl after she threatened to self-harm if he ended their relationship.

Hannah Squires, prosecuting, said: ‘In her video interview she talks about the opportunities that the defendant created so contact and sexual activities could take place between the two.

‘This was mainly in the maths cupboard where sex took place. She said he made her feel good about herself, it felt like he didn’t care about anyone else.

‘She said she was being bullied at school and wasn’t getting any attention from anyone else.’  

Rob Ross, defending, added: ‘He appreciates that a gross misconduct has been committed. He is genuine in his remorse.

‘He has to face up to the initial shock and horror that his wife showed. His family are all devastated to find him in this position and he realises it is all his fault.’  

Weedon will have to sign onto the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and was also placed under a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order.