A HAMPSHIRE teacher who admitted downloading indecent images of children and sexually touching a 16-year-old girl has been spared a jail term.
Michael Page was given a three month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and an 18-month supervision order for touching the girl.
Page, 41, was also given an 18-month supervision order for making and possessing the images.
He was banned from working with children and prohibited from having any unsupervised contact with any girl under 16 except his daughters.
Religious studies teacher Page, of Avon Road, Bitterne Park, Southampton, was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.
Sentencing him at Southampton Crown Court Judge Derwin Hope said Page had abused his position of trust.
He added: “The incident involving the girl was not the most serious of offences, but she was a particularly vulnerable individual and the impact on her life has been particularly severe as a result. She was 16 and you were 40, which further aggravated the situation.”
James Newton-Price, prosecuting, said the victim had become afraid of leaving her house, lost contact with her friends and grew depressed.
Defending, Simon Gruchy,said Page had lost his job and was £30,000 in debt.
“Financially, things have, not surprisingly, taken a turn for the worse as a result of all this,” said Mr Gruchy.
Page, who had no previous convictions, was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and was told that his computer would be confiscated.