December 2015

Former School teacher jailed for making indecent photos of teenage girl

Greggs Wood  Doorstep Ex Tonbridge Grammer Schoolteacher. Has admitted having a relationship with a 17 yr old pupils and making indecent images. TWPL20151110A-022_N.JPG

A former teacher who engaged in sexual touching with an infatuated teenager has been jailed for eight months.

Stephen Burrows, 66, was told by a judge he should have seen the warning signs and “stopped dead” what was happening.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that Burrows, who taught English at Tonbridge Grammar School, suffered from impotency and that the attention from the girl made him feel more of a man.

The grandfather-of-two, of Greggs Wood Road, Tunbridge Wells, admitted sexual activity with a child and making indecent photographs.

The images were all of the girl and ones she had sent to him via WhatsApp and email.

One showed her naked from the rear, two were of her topless and another two showed her in her underwear.

When Burrows was arrested in September 2013, his wife, Joyce, told police that the teenager was fixated with her husband and had once claimed she was the predator and he was the prey.

However, passing sentence, Judge Michael Carroll said he had no difficulty in identifying Burrows as being the one to blame for what happened.

“You knew that she was infatuated with you and you had the power to stop it…You chose not to do that and, as often is the case, it developed and in the end even you knew it was wrong.”

The judge added his behaviour was aggravated by having the indecent photographs, as well as internet searches found by police which used sexual terms that showed “an unhealthy interest” in people akin to the relationship they shared.

The court heard the offences came to light in September 2013. The girl initially denied that anything improper had occurred and claimed rumours were being spread.

However, she later told police that Burrows had touched her intimately.

Prosecutor Steven Attridge said the girl also revealed that she had instigated the contact between them and on one occasion told friends she was going to “go for it”.

“She said she hugged Burrows, kissed him on the lips and that it became more sexual.

She put her head on his shoulder, she hugged him and he put his arm around her and was stroking her back.

“She said she put her arms around him…Things then escalated quite quickly and the stroking became sexual.”

They later arranged to meet for coffee on three occasions.

Mr Attridge said they also expressed their love for each other in text messages and that Skype communications indicated that other sexual acts had taken place, although the prosecution could not go behind the victim’s statement.

Upon his release, Burrows will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for seven years and will have to sign on the sex offenders’ register.

November 2015

Tonbridge: Former teacher admits taking indecent images of teenager

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A popular Tonbridge school teacher who taught thousands of teenage girls has been exposed as a sex offender.

Stephen Burrows, 65, a former English teacher at Tonbridge Grammar School, could face jail after he admitted engaging in ‘sexual touching’ with a 17-year-old pupil.

He pleaded guilty to charges of abusing a position of trust and making indecent photographs of a child at a hearing at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court last month (October 19).

The teacher, who was known as ‘Mr B’ to students, worked at the school for more than ten years and ran an annual three-week residential trip to Singapore with Year 12 pupils.

Burrows, of Greggs Wood Road in Tunbridge Wells, is due to be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court next week and could locked up for the offences, which occurred in 2013.

At the time of going to press, the former teacher had pictures of himself with his arm around pupils posted on social media.

Last week head teacher Rosemary Joyce alerted parents to the crimes, which were reported to the school on the first day of Autumn term, 2013.

She told the Courier: “Due to the serious nature of this allegation the school acted promptly to suspend Mr Burrows and refer the matter to the police. The suspension remained in place continuously until Mr Burrows’ contract of employment was terminated in February 2014.

“Prior to this incident no safeguarding concerns regarding Mr Burrows had been raised. He had been subject to an enhanced CRB check and full recruitment checks.”

The English teacher is listed with a five star approval rating from students on website ratemyteacher.com, where comments called him “funny” and “easy going”.

Mrs Joyce moved to reassure parents about the school’s safeguarding procedures, but refused to tell the Courier how long the teacher had been running residential school trips or what level of supervision was in place.

She added: “Tonbridge Grammar School takes safeguarding very seriously and has very stringent procedures which are updated regularly and followed at all times.

“The school meets all recruitment requirements and DBS (formerly CRB) checks are carried out on all staff before they begin working at the school. Once employed, all staff are subject to regular safeguarding training.”

The ex-teacher declined to comment when the Courier approached him this week.