May 2016

Pervert teacher jailed after he posed as teenager in chat room

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A TEACHER who was sacked from his school after police caught him posing as a teenager in online chats with boys has been jailed.

Richard Lythall committed a raft of offences over a three-year period, including downloading and distributing indecent photographs of children.

The 35-year-old was working at Sir Thomas Boughey High School, in Halmerend, when the allegations came to light and he was immediately dismissed.

Now the English teacher and church organist is this week starting a three-and-a-half year jail term.

Police seized Lythall’s computer equipment from his home in March last year.

Officers found he had been chatting online to boys aged 14 and 15 – while posing as a 15-year-old boy and a 23-year-old woman.

They also discovered indecent images of children.

Lythall pleaded guilty to 15 offences committed between January 24, 2012 and March 24, 2015, including:

  • Attempting to cause a child to watch sexual activity;

  • Causing a child to engage in sexual activity;

  • Taking indecent images of a child;

  • Possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

Chester Crown Court heard Lythall, of Wesley Avenue, Alsager, had exchanged indecent images, including photos of himself and the teenage boys in their underwear.

Jailing him, Judge Nicholas Woodward said: “On the surface you appear to be a decent and respected member of the community and an experienced teacher.

“That you have done this with your background is extremely worrying. 

“You prepared false profiles so you could exploit children and indulge your own sexual interests in teenage boys, and you continued to do so for a number of years.”

Sir Thomas Boughey said the school had been left ‘shocked and angry’.

Senior staff said Lythall – who had worked at the school for 12 years – had violated the trust placed in him.