April 2021

Pervert maths teacher groomed schoolgirl with McDonald’s and cigarettes

A top maths teacher groomed and sexually exploited a vulnerable schoolgirl during a sickening campaign of manipulation. 

Richard Chipchase once locked his victim in a storeroom when she refused to hug him and tried to win her over with cigarettes, McDonald’s meals and car rides.

It was during one of those lifts that he sexually assaulted her.

Chipchase abused his position to target the girl while he was head of maths at Woodchurch High.

Liverpool Crown Court heard he initially singled the pupil out for preferential treatment, allowing her to get away with not doing homework and offering her access to his treat-filled storeroom.

Cheryl Mottram, prosecuting, said: “He let her listen to music in the classroom, caught her smoking but didn’t report her and started to buy her cigarettes.

“He would compliment her on her looks, telling her that she was pretty and would hug her at any given opportunity.”

After concerns were raised about his behaviour towards the girl he passed her his mobile number while she sat a mock exam – sparking text conversations that would take place every day.

From this point he started to buy alcohol and cigarettes for her and giving her lifts.

He left her terrified when he once refused to let her leave his store room without hugging him, with Miss Mottram telling the court: “He was saying to her that he wouldn’t let her out until she gave him a hug.

“The space was only small and she recalls feeling really scared.

When he eventually did unlock the door another maths teacher was stood outside. The defendant told her that the girl was just calming down.

“After this incident she reports that her view of her relationship with Mr Chipchase changed. She began to feel that it was wrong.”

On another occasion he placed his hand up her skirt and assaulted her while giving her a lift. He simply laughed at her when she pushed it away.

Miss Mottram added: “From then on that he became more tactile with her, hugging her more, stroking her arm and back, kissing the top of her head.

“These acts were always out of the view of the other students and teachers in his classroom or in the store cupboard… Throughout the time at the school the defendant would write her letters, give her books and DVDs.

“He once gave her a book which he had written inside the cover ‘I hope you enjoy this, love R’ with a kiss. He bought her bits of jewellery and other small trinkets.”

In an impact statement the victim told how his behaviour had an impact on her mental health and affected her relationship with her parents.

It also affected her maths grades although she has since been able to catch up.

The court heard she felt no one understood her and that the grooming had an ongoing effect on her.

Chipchase’s campaign came to end when concerns were raised about inappropriate behaviour by him towards another schoolgirl.

This sparked an investigation by the Independent Safeguarding Authority and Chipchase was dismissed from the school and his teaching licence revoked.

The police were told but the victim did not tell them about the abuse in his car and they left matters to the school to deal with, Miss Mottram said.

Last year the victim contacted Wirral Council and Chipchase, now 55 and of Welford Avenue in Prenton, was interviewed by police during which he denied behaving inappropriately.

He was today jailed for 27 months after he pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual activity with a child.

Judge Gary Woodhall told Chipchase: “You abused and manipulated your position of trust in order to groom and then exploit this vulnerable young girl over a number of years for your own sexual gratification… You targeted her because you identified her as vulnerable.”

He ordered Chipchase to sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for seven years.