November 2020

Teacher sentenced to eight years

A teacher has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and a lifetime on the sex offenders register after pleading guilty to a number of sexual offences against teenage girls when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court.

Richard Michael Cottyn, 34, and from Sheffield, was charged with 90 separate offences relating to 32 victims.

The offences took place between September 2013 and September 2017.

The charges were subsequently condensed into 31 indictments.

Cottyn pleaded guilty to 27 of these indictments at an earlier hearing.

An investigation by Surrey Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team began in September 2017 following a report from a victim.

Cottyn was subsequently arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child.

Following examination of his laptop and mobile phone, it was found to contain thousands of chat logs with a number of girls between the ages of 14 and 17 years.

In some cases Cottyn had met some of them. An indecent image of a female was also found on the device.

He was further arrested in June 2018 for offences relating to meeting children and the indecent image offence.

Officers seized a further phone belonging to him which contained over 2,500 chat logs.

Additional material, including hundreds of indecent images of girls, were also found on his laptop.