March 2004

Prison for sex beast teacher

Music teacher Ian Sheffield, who had sex with two teenage girls, has been jailed for seven years.

Sheffield, 29, showed no emotion as sentence was passed by Judge Daniel Worsley for his “monstrous abuse of trust” towards the girls, aged 14 and 15.

The judge told how the 14-year-old was so distraught that she took an overdose of painkillers.

The other girl sobbed uncontrollably during the ordeal of giving evidence at Basildon Crown Court.

Judge Worsley added: “Who knows if these girls will ever trust adults again?”

Sheffield, who was due to marry a 41-year-old American woman this year, was disqualified from working with children and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

He was unanimously found guilty by a jury on 12 counts of indecent assault and other serious sexual offences.

After the verdicts, Sheffield’s father shouted: “You must be out of your little minds.”

The judge appealed to the crowded public gallery for calm.

Sheffield was found guilty of indecently assaulting the 14-year-old on three counts and three counts of abusing his position of trust to have sexual intercourse.

In the case of the 15-year-old, he was found guilty on four counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child.

The girls, now a year older, claimed Sheffield took them on drives for sex.

His barrister, Nicola May, told the court Sheffield was devastated by the verdict.

She went on: “Every part of his life has collapsed as a result of these proceedings. However, the woman he was expecting to marry has been supportive and intends to stand by him.”

He was released early from jail in 2008.