December 2006

Teacher jailed for pupil affair

A teacher was jailed for two-and-a-half years for having an affair with a sixth-former at a school in Cheltenham.

Darren Caudle-Wood, 38, of Church Road, Cheltenham, seduced the student after lessons and music practice at Pate’s Grammar School.

The married father-of-two was found guilty of seven charges of having sexual activity with a child under 18 while in a position of trust.

He had denied the charges at Gloucester Crown Court.

Judge Martin Picton said Caudle-Wood had stolen part of the girl’s childhood.

‘Utterly shoddy’

“In my view this was genuinely wicked behaviour on your part because you misused your position of trust you were in,” he said.

“I only have to watch her give evidence to see the damage it has caused.

“She was very vulnerable, you knew that and you treated her in an utterly shoddy way and in an utterly selfish way.”

He said Caudle-Wood would have to serve at least half his jail term but would also face an extended period of licence of a further two-and-a-half years.

He was also disqualified from working with children under the age of 18 and told to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was studying at the school where Caudle-Wood had been director of music since 1999.

He told the teenager, who suffered from depression, that he loved her and asked her to be his girlfriend, claiming his marriage was over.