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By Chris Willmott Thursday 20 September 2012 Updated: 20/09 10:47
A SOLIHULL maths teacher engaged in what a judge described as ‘a grotesque association’ with a pupil and got her to send him indecent pictures of herself.
But despite his ‘gross breach of trust’ and abuse of his position, Kevin Edward Hughes escaped being jailed when he was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court.
Hughes (30) formerly of Wharf Lane, Solihull, had pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child and four of making indecent pictures of children.
The disgraced teacher, who has been dismissed from his most recent post at Lyndon School, was given a community sentence for three years with a condition of attending a three-year sex offender programme.
Judge Alan Parker also told Hughes, now of Woodclose Road, Chelmsley Wood, that he was disqualified from working with children ‘for the entirety of your life’ and ordered him to register as a sex offender for five years.
Prosecutor Richard Franck said that after the school he was then working at ran a maths trip, Hughes asked a 14-year-old girl on the trip to e-mail him some photographs.
She did so, and shortly afterwards he asked her for her mobile phone number, after which regular texts and e-mails were exchanged in which he made flattering comments.
“The relationship was no longer one of teacher and pupil,” said Mr Franck - and e-mails ending with kisses progressed at the end of that year to them ‘French kissing.’
The girl’s mother had become suspicious and found Hughes’s number, so called him and told him not to contact her again, and he apologised and blamed ‘an error of judgement.’
After a while the mother suspected the relationship had resumed so contacted Hughes again and said she would report him if he did not stop contacting her daughter.
But Hughes defiantly told her she would not do that because she would not want her daughter’s name ‘dragged through the mud.’
Ignoring that threat, she spoke to the school head and was assured he would be issued with a warning and that the situation would be monitored – but despite that, there was further contact between them.
Hughes entered his pleas on the basis that although they had kissed, they did not have intercourse until after she was 16 and they were no longer at the same school.
She visited his flat, and on one occasion found an indecent image of a child on his computer, which he managed to convince her had got there because of a virus.
But after a complaint was eventually made and Hughes was arrested the police seized his computer, which Judge Alan Parker said contained ‘many many hundreds of images.’
Mr Franck said there were 1,346 level one images of children in indecent poses, including 44 of the girl which he had asked her to take and send to him when she was just 14.
There were also four ‘level two’ movies showing her engaging in sexual activity by herself and four level three images of the two of them naked in bed.
Sentencing Hughes, the judge told him: “You were engaged in a grotesque association with this girl in flagrant disregard of your professional responsibilities, demonstrating a gross breach of trust."
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