Dec 2003

Teacher convicted of assault on boy

A MUSIC TEACHER at a top public school in Wales has been convicted of indecently assaulting an eight-year-old boy in St Davids.

Christian Morris, aged 29, wept in Swansea Crown Court dock as the verdict was announced. The court heard his career was in tatters and he was expected to be sacked. The jury heard how Morris drank ‘a few glasses’ of wine at a family barbecue at St Davids before walking towards a nearby beach and indecently assaulted one of four young boys playing in a makeshift den.

He asked one of them to expose his bottom so he could photograph it on his digital camera. The boy refused and Morris put his hand inside the boy’s trousers. The boy ran and told his father, who called the police.

Morris spotted a police car as he returned from the beach and quickly erased a picture of another boy’s bottom from the memory of his camera. He then threw the memory card away and police were unable to find it. Morris claimed the boy had ‘mooned’ just at the moment he had taken an innocent photograph.

Morris, an accomplished musician, denied a single charge of indecent assault. Morris, bailed to St Peter’s Rectory, Lampeter Velfrey, prior to the trial, told police he had behaved like a complete idiot in entering the boys’ den. But he denied making an indecent assault or suggestion.

Judge John Diehl sentenced Morris to the maximum community rehabilitation order of three years. 

Because Morris was not sent to jail, it meant he could not be ordered never to work with children again. But Morris, a teacher at Monmouth School, has been placed on the sex offenders register for five years. 

It means that up to the year 2008 he must now register with the police wherever he lives and must keep officers informed of his movements. 

He must also regularly report to a police station. 

Morris, who Judge Diehl said ‘threw away’ everything he worked for, when he assaulted the young boy after a family party, was also ordered to pay £2,000 court costs. The judge explained to the court yesterday that as Morris was not sent to jail, he was unable to make an official order banning him from working with children in future. 

The court was told Monmouth School had already decided to sack Morris because of the offence.