August 2019

Deputy head teacher sexually abused young girl

A former deputy head teacher, who had been a teacher for 30 years, sexually abused a young girl.

Terrence John Stephens subjected the girl to repeated indecent assaults, on one occasion plying her with drink before assaulting her.

But when confronted by police he sought to blame his victim, saying she had flirted with him.

Stephens was deputy headmaster of St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive in Llanelli at the time of the offending but the girl he abused was not connected to the school.

Swansea Crown Court heard that the abuse took place during the 1990s when the girl was aged under 16.

Stephens repeatedly kissed, touched and assaulted the girl at a number of different locations over a period of months.

Helen Randall, prosecuting, said on one occasion he gave the girl alcohol before trying to kiss her and then sexually assaulting her.

The offending only came to light in 2017 when the victim went to the police.

The court heard Stephens initially denied the allegations and claimed she had been flirting with him and initiated sexual contact.

When police searched his computer they found one indecent image of a girl aged around four or five and uncovered evidence in his internet browser history that he had been searching for material involving young girls.

He denied finding young girls sexually arousing but said he liked to look at them as they looked “delightful”.

In a statement, the victim said she had led a “sheltered” life as a child and did not understand what Stephens was doing to her.

The woman described how she had blamed herself for the abuse and had been left with anxiety and panic attacks, and feeling she could not trust men.

Stephens, 70, of Glynderi, Tanerdy, Carmarthen, had previously pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent assault and one count of possessing an indecent image of a child when he appeared in the dock.

No evidence was offered in regard to two other charges, and formal not guilty verdicts were entered. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Keith Thomas told Stephens he had subjected the girl to a catalogue of sexual offences, causing “immense and long-lasting” consequences for her.

He sentenced Stephens to a total of 54 months. He will serve half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.

Stephens will also be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life, and he was made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.