March 2013

Teen abuse house master loses appeal

st marys

A FORMER house master at a top private school who was jailed for abusing a teenage girl after plying her with drink has lost an appeal against his two-year sentence.

Ryan Deneven-Lewis avoided prison in 2009 when he was put on probation for sex offences against two teenagers at St Mary’s Music School in Grosvenor Crescent.

But the 31-year-old was jailed at Blackfriars Crown Court in London in December after another girl came forward and he admitted three counts of sexual activity with a child.

The disgraced former schoolmaster, who now lives in Harrow, London, asked appeal judges for a reduction in his sentence.

But Lord Justice Pitchford, Mrs Justice Sharp and Sir Geoffrey Grigson, sitting at London’s Court of Appeal yesterday, rejected his case.

The court heard Deneven-Lewis had twice formed sexual relationships with teenagers, aged 15 and 16, while working at the Edinburgh school.

At the time, he admitted a drunken sexual liaison with a third girl, aged 14, but she refused to make a complaint.

Three years later, after making “good progress” on probation, Deneven-Lewis was arrested over offences against the third girl and later convicted.

August 2009

House master had sex with pupil

A house master at a boarding school who had sex with a 16-year-pupil and behaved indecently towards another girl has been placed on probation.

Ryan Deneven-Lewis, 27, was responsible for looking after boarding pupils at the school in Edinburgh.

But Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told he abused his position of trust by committing the offences between 1 and 30 June 2006.

The offences came to light in 2008 when messages were posted on the internet.

The court heard that Deneven-Lewis, of Headingley, Leeds, had been responsible for the general supervision and care of the pupils, and took charge of recreational activities in the evenings.

He began working at the private school on a part-time basis in September 2005 and was given board and lodgings in January 2006.

Fiscal depute Aidan Higgins said Deneven-Lewis played pool with a 15-year-old girl in the school dining room during the evenings and progressed from “playfulness” to sexual behaviour.

He kissed and touched her sexually and convinced her to perform sex acts on him.

The incidents continued for three months until April 2006 when he began to “distance himself” from her.

In March 2006, he began texting the 16-year-old girl and went to her room where he climbed into bed with her and undressed.

Mr Higgins said: “Between then and the end of the summer term the accused and the complainer would meet either in the accused’s room in the school and in the complainer’s if her room-mate was away.

“The accused, after the first few meetings, would have sexual intercourse with the complainer.”

Pled guilty

Mr Higgins added: “It was only over time, when information became more complete by verbal reports and messages that were appearing on internet websites such as Bebo, that a full picture emerged over what had been happening.”

The accused had left the school by then, and Sheriff Deirdre MacNeill QC was given references from teaching posts he had since held.

Deneven-Lewis had previously pled guilty to using lewd, libidinous and indecent practices and behaviour towards a 15-year-old and to having sexual intercourse with the 16-year-old, while in a position of trust.

Passing sentence, Sheriff MacNeill made it a condition of probation that Deneven-Lewis take part in sex offenders group work.

The sheriff also expressed the hope that Deneven-Lewis would “pick up the rest of his life.”

Deneven-Lewis was placed on probation and on the sex offenders register for three years.