January 2008

Teacher escapes jail over pupil sex affair

A THIRD teacher from the area has been sentenced for having a long-term affair with a pupil.

Two teachers from Headlands school, Bridlington – Ian Blott and Steven Edwards – have already been jailed in the past 18 months for having relationships with pupils.

Now Terry Mann has been given a suspended prison sentence after appearing at Hull Crown Court last Friday.

Mann, 45, pleaded guilty to two charges of making indecent photographs of a child and earlier admitted sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

Mann used to work in Bridlington but the charges related to a school elsewhere in the East Riding.

Judge Roger Thorn, QC, told Mann: “You, as a teacher, had a wholly inappropriate sexual relationship with a child in your care more than three times your junior.

“The fact this child consented to whatever happened is nothing to the point.

“While human beings remain human beings, children will, from time to time, admire, respect and occasionally fall in love with their teachers.

“Anybody in the caring profession surely knows the dangers it involves.

“It matters not if they are school teachers, guides, scouters, clergymen, choirmasters, whoever.

“If the message has not been made loud enough – the media is full of such stories – those in positions of trust will face imprisonment for inappropriate sexual relationships.”

He said in Mann’s case prison would not serve any purpose and gave him a 12-month sentence, suspended for three years.

Mann, of West End Falls, Nafferton, was ordered to sign the National Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years, was banned from working with children and his computer hard drive will be destroyed.

Despite a warning from the headteacher, Mann gave the girl his mobile phone number and e-mail address.

She sent him an inapporpriate picture and they chatted about sex online.

Prosecutor Helen Hendry said: “He said they had a special relationship between them and were waiting until she was old enough. He said it was a good relationship and they loved each other.”

She said Mann gave the girl a mobile phone and he had her phone number stored on his mobile under the name San Quentin, a notorious prison in America.

“That was because he admitted that was probably where he would end up if talk of their relationship spread.

“He told police how misunderstood he felt about his feelings for the girl.

“He admitted topping up her mobile at 10 to 20 a time and it was costing him a fortune,” the prosecutor said.

Defence barrister Steven Garth said: “The defendant is an insecure and naive man.

“At the time he met this girl he was at a low ebb.

“His relationship with his girlfriend was finished. He had very serious financial worries. He was suffering from depression. His physical health was failing. When this girl showed him some friendship he was flattered.

“In the beginning it was just friendship. Unfortunately the friendship went too far, it became a relationship.

“He has become a broken man. He has lost his job, his good name, his reputation and good character

“He has lost his income and is likely to lose his home.”

He said Mr Garth was now working part-time repairing computers on a lower income and had accepted he must never see the girl again