• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Jail for Abingdon headteacher who sent sex images to ‘girl’

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 7, 2022

A former headteacher filmed himself performing a sex act while on a call to a 12-year-old ‘girl’ – and asked how she felt about starting year eight.

Paul Corrie, 60, who quit his job as headteacher of John Mason School in 2007 and returned to the maths classroom, met the ‘girl’ on website Chat Avenue Teen Chat at the end of the summer holidays last year.

When he was arrested little more than a week later, he told police ‘it’s true’ and confessed to receiving web links to indecent images of children online.

The teacher later candidly admitted to the probation officer writing a pre-sentence report for the judge that he had ‘felt undervalued, unappreciated and unfulfilled’.

And on Monday, Judge Maria Lamb put him under lock and key – jailing Corrie for a year.

She acknowledged that the jail term would impact his wife and parents, who relied on him for support. But she told the ashen-faced defendant: “I cannot ignore the fact of the seriousness of this type of offending and in my view the only appropriate punishment here can be achieved by a sentence of immediate custody.”

Earlier, prosecutor Alice Aubrey-Fletcher told Oxford Crown Court that Corrie met his ‘victim’ on Chat Avenue on August 17 last year.

Under the username ‘SportyUKGuy’, the dad told the ‘girl’ he was 36-years-old. Informed by the police officer operating the decoy account that she was only 12, he replied: “Nice, what do you look like?”

Their conversation moved to SnapChat, where ‘SportyUKGuy’s username was later matched to Corrie’s mobile phone number.

Over the next week, he sent a number of images of himself in boxer shorts, of his naked genitalia and video-called the ‘girl’ while performing a sex act on himself.

Interspersed with what Ms Aubrey-Fletcher described as the ‘sexualised messages’, he asked her ‘what school year she’s going into and how she feels about going into year eight’.

He was arrested on September 1, immediately taking responsibility for his actions and telling the officers: “It’s true.”

Checks of his phone and computer showed he had six indecent images in the worst category, including one showing the rape of a girl estimated to be aged between two and four. He had five indecent images and videos in category C.

He had searched for key phrases favoured by paedophiles. There was evidence of hyperlinks being saved for favourite websites from 2017.

Corrie, of Sweetmans Road, North Hinksey, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to get a child to look at an image of sexual activity and possession of indecent images of children.

Mitigating, Kellie Enever said her client had no previous convictions, supported his wife and elderly parents, and had lived a ‘good life’ hitherto. Since his arrest, he had undergone counselling with specialist charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

A probation report assessed him as a medium risk of causing serious harm to children.

Judge Lamb imposed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order. His 12 month jail sentence means he will be a registered sex offender for a decade.

The offending is understood to have been completely unconnected to his work as a teacher.

A spokeswoman for UTC Oxfordshire, where Corrie was working as a maths teacher until his dismissal last September, said: “Once we became aware of this matter, our safeguarding procedures were followed and we are satisfied that none of the children at the school were at any risk.”

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward