Febuary 2009

Teacher is jailed for sexual abuse

A TEACHER who sexually assaulted a pupil he was mentoring has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

The abuse happened when Gary Lewis, who was also a football league referee, was working at a village college near Cambridge in 1999. However, it only emerged after he was convicted of emailing pornographic images to a child, in 2007.

Cambridge Crown Court heard Lewis, 35, arranged to take a 16-year-old student he had been advising out in Cambridge, after he finished his exams.

Mara Maciejowski, prosecuting, said Lewis picked the boy up from home and the pair ate and drank alcohol together, before going back to Lewis’ home.

There, Lewis started hugging and sexually touching the boy after they changed for bed.

Lewis ignored his pupil’s protests and sat on his chest, attempting to kiss him on the mouth and to make him perform a sex act. The boy, now 25, broke free and ran out of the house.

He found it difficult to have sexual relations after the abuse and was nervous about playing football because Lewis was a referee – officiating at games up to Championship level.

But he did not make a complaint until Lewis’ three-year community order for sending graphic photos to a 14-year-old was reported in the Newsin 2007.

Lewis, of Leicester Drive, Haddenham, had pleaded guilty to indecent touching, and also admitted three similar offences committed when he was 14 and living in Bassingbourn.

The court heard Lewis had introduced an 11-year-old boy to a “game” where they sexually touched each other in 1987, and it continued until 1990, when the younger child moved away.

Mrs Maciejowski said the victim, now 31, did not understand what was happening at first, but later pushed him away and needed counselling in his 20s.

Nick Doherty, mitigating, said Lewis had “lost everything” and added his guilty plea meant his victims did not have to testify.

Judge Jonathan Haworth jailed Lewis for two years for the pupil assault, which he described as a serious breach of the victim and his parents’ trust.

He jailed him for six months, concurrently, for his teenage crimes, and another six months in re-sentencing for the email offences, to be served consecutively.

Judge Haworth said it was now clear Lewis had been “grooming” in the case of his previous conviction.

Lewis, who later taught at other colleges in the area, is banned from working with children for life, and will remain on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely