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Four-and-a-half years for paedophile headteacher

'How could this happen in a primary school?'

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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A FORMER headteacher convicted of sexually abusing two girl pupils has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Forty-seven-year-old Christopher Field, who lived at Green Lane, Chieveley, was sentenced this morning (Friday) by judge Zoe Smith sitting at Oxford Crown Court

Jurors convicted him of assault by groping a primary school pupil under her uniform and downloading 13 child porn videos on to his computer.

They had heard how Field groomed one of his victims by calling her “special” and the “prettiest girl in the school”, showering her with gifts, before sexually assaulting her in his office.

She responded by wearing crop tops, thinking that Field was her boyfriend.

On Thursday, March 10, Field was convicted of two counts of assault by touching a girl under 13, relating to two victims.

He was also convicted by a majority verdict of one count of making indecent images of a child.

The jury at Oxford Crown Court was unable to reach a verdict on one count of sexual assault and one count of causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided it was not in the public interest to proceed with a new trial on the remaining charges.

Field had denied perpetrating a series of sex offences on the two girls in his care while headteacher at Woodcote Primary School, Oxfordshire.

He previously worked at Goring Primary School and Kennet Valley Primary School in Calcot, although there is no suggestion of any impropriety there.

The allegations came to light in 2014, when one of Field’s victims, by then a teenager, broke down in front of her parents.

She later told police that going to secondary school and learning more about sex had made her realise what had happened was wrong.

During the police investigation, the court was told, officers discovered a previous allegation made against Field, when another schoolgirl claimed he had rubbed her thighs in the dining hall.

Rebecca Austin, prosecuting, told the jury: “The question you will ask is: how on earth this could happen in a primary school?”

After the verdicts, Det Con Sarah Berry, of Thames Valley Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “This was a difficult case where two young girls, who did not understand what was happening at the time, were groomed and abused.

“They have shown great courage in coming forward. Both have been consistent and shown great determination in giving their evidence at court.

“I am sad for them that Field did not admit his guilt and thereby could have spared them the pain of reliving the ordeal in court.”

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Article comments

  • Semaj

    23/03/2016 - 11:11

    How did this happen, these beasts prowl around the most gullible, more monitoring of teachers is necessary with mental assessments by qualified medical staff. This should be done before any student teacher enters college. A close relative of mine was abused at his public school, they paid for them to abuse him. Disgusted.

    Reply

  • Ihavenonickname

    18/03/2016 - 16:04

    My concern is that the Tories seem hell bent on giving head teachers even more unilateral power in schools. Who else will be there with checks and balances when parent governors and LEA's get the chop? It's difficult enough as it is now! My heart goes out to those poor girls and their parents

    Reply

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