August 2019

Grammar school teacher jailed for grooming and repeatedly abusing young girl

A grammar school teacher has today been jailed for grooming and repeatedly having sex with a young girl.

Barton Court’s Michael McCarthy, 46, shared thousands of texts with his victim, who he molested numerous times over a year-long period.

He even proposed to marry his victim and arranged for her to spend nights at his home

McCarthy, who taught maths at the Canterbury school, earlier pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual activity with a child, engaging in sexual conversation and taking/making indecent images.

Judge Simon James said McCarthy preyed on the girl.

“It is only now that she is free of your influence that she has come to understand just how abusive, coercive and controlling your relationship with her was,” he said.

“I consider that your behaviour, including your intimate, sexualised and regular communications amounted to a process of grooming her.”

Prosecutor Simon Taylor told the court text conversations between McCarthy and the girl quickly turned sexual after he fostered a “father and daughter-style relationship”.

“The victim said she thinks the defendant took advantage of her because he saw that she was vulnerable and he pushed her as far as she would go,” Mr Taylor said.

“She said that sex was something she had nightmares about, and the defendant saw it as a point on which he could go forward.”

A police probe into McCarthy’s phone revealed some 500 photos of the girl, many of them “selfies” and a number sexual.

Mr Davies read out a string of McCarthy’s disturbing texts to the court, as the victim’s family sat in the public gallery.

McCarthy – 10 metres away in the dock – did not appear to look at the family during the sentencing hearing.

“The defendant asked for her to delete the messages, he told her of the consequences, and told her his life was in her hand,” added Mr Taylor.

Canterbury Crown Court heard McCarthy was suspended after his arrest.

But he would continue texting the victim, prompting her mother to become suspicious and call the police.

Following his arrest, McCarthy breached bail by writing a letter professing his love to the victim and one apologising to her mother, the court heard.

Judge James added: “While your deluded thinking and endeavours to contact your victim and her family following your arrest are concerning, your convictions make it highly unlikely that you will be placed in such close contact with children in the future.”

McCarthy was jailed for five years and will be subject to a restraining order and Sexual Harm Prevention Order on his release.

June 2019

Canterbury teacher pleads guilty to string of child sex offence

A grammar school teacher has admitted a string of child sex offences.

Michael McCarthy – a maths teacher at Barton Court in Canterbury – pleaded guilty to seven charges in court yesterday.

They include four counts of sexual activity with a child, engaging in sexual conversation and taking/making indecent images.

McCarthy was arrested last month after the allegations were investigated by police.

The 46-year-old – previously listed on the school’s website as head of Year 12 – was also suspended from his job.

The offences are said to have happened in the last 13 months.

At Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday, McCarthy pleaded guilty to all charges.

McCarthy, of St Thomas Hill, Canterbury, who is thought to be a father-of-four, is due to be sentenced at the same court on August 12.