July 2002

Teacher jailed for sex with pupils

A music teacher who formed sexual relationships with two of his 15-year-old pupils has been jailed.

Christopher Smith, 24, was sent to prison for 18 months at Preston Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard how Smith taught the girls in a school jazz band and became friendly with them following a school visit to Europe last Easter.

Smith, of Poulton-le-Fylde, near Blackpool, Lancashire, had continued the friendships outside school by mobile phone and email.

The court heard that last summer the friendships developed into sexual relationships between Smith and the two teenagers, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Jacob Dyer, prosecuting, said: “Both girls were in a jazz band and the defendant was a music teacher.”

The girls were pupils at a Lancashire school, which also cannot be named for legal reasons.

Mr Dyer said the relationship between Smith and girl A “seemed to turn sour” in September last year.

“At around this time girl B was involved in the jazz band and was seeing the defendant on Monday nights,” said Mr Dyer.

“The circumstances were very similar.”

Mr Dyer said girl B’s mother insisted on meeting Smith after hearing rumours of a sexual relationship.

The two girls were interviewed by police and one admitted “hugging and kissing Smith”, said Mr Dyer.

They both eventually said they had sex with Smith, the court heard.

Mr Dyer said: “The defendant was interviewed on 17 February and admitted to the offences.”

‘Emotionally immature’

After an earlier hearing Smith pleaded guilty to seven counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with the two girls.

Rachael Woods, defending, said: “Strictly speaking, he was not a teacher, he was working in a capacity as a technician and musical instructor.”

Miss Woods said the defendant was an emotionally immature man who recognised his actions were “unacceptable and entirely inappropriate”.

Sex Offenders Register

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Peter Openshaw, QC, jailed Smith for nine months for unlawful sex with girl A and nine months for unlawful sex with girl B, to run consecutively.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register and banned from working with young children for at least ten years.

The judge said: “Parents send their children to school safe in the knowledge that sexual contact between teacher and pupil is universally known as entirely forbidden.

“It was your duty and responsibility to avoid these situations, instead you took advantage of them.

“Now you must pay the price.”