Ex-teacher jailed for sex offences against girl after online grooming

Bucks Free Press: Ex-teacher jailed for sex offences against girl after online grooming Ex-teacher jailed for sex offences against girl after online grooming

A JUDGE told a former teacher he is “finished” in the profession as he was jailed for sexual offences against a 15-year-old schoolgirl after grooming her online.

Judge Francis Sheridan said former Holmer Green history teacher Luke Fisher betrayed the trust of the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and abused his position as he sentenced him to 18 months behind bars this morning.

Fisher, 28, of Pinkneys Drive, Maidenhead, pleaded guilty last month to one count of meeting a child following sexual grooming and three counts of sexual activity with a child under 16.

He dramatically changed his plea on what would have been the first day of his trial at Aylesbury Crown Court on April 1 after previously denying all the charges.

Judge Sheridan said: “You were a teacher and a popular one at that. Staff liked you, that is obvious, and your colleagues liked you, but most of all your charisma and age enabled youngsters at the school who had problems to come to you, and that is to your credit.

“You did not set out to groom [the girl] that came about when you were talking to her as a teacher about personal difficulties. You became sexually attracted to her and it was a gross misuse of your position.

“Her parents were entitled to know their young daughter was going off to school in a healthy and safe environment.

“You utterly betrayed the trust of the school and her parents and worst of all the fact that [the girl] made it clear she wanted it to stop you blanked her at school and left her feeling rejected instead of helping her.

“This is a sad case because this is the end of your career and you have set this young lady back in her emotional development because of your actions. This man is finished, he will never teach again in this country.”

Fisher, who worked at the school for about four years, began sending Facebook messages to the pupil after consoling her over problems she was having at home.

He reassured the girl about her appearance and said she was 'pretty', eventually inviting her over to his house where, during the second visit, he began to touch her sexually.

The pupil then told him she wanted it to go no further and later reported the meetings to teachers at her school.

Judge Sheridan added that the school was blameless of any of the charges and acted swiftly and appropriately when they learned of the crimes.

He said: “Holmer Green School adhered to the very best practice in these circumstances.

“They carry no blame for what happened and behaved exactly as they should and they deserve credit for this.”

Barrister for the defence Alisdair Williamson said although it should not detract from society’s “abhorrence” for the crime, Fisher had shown remorse for what he had done and knew his life was “in ashes”.

He said: “He does not skulk in the shadow like those in his position often do. He has taken the trouble to tell this court that he is not the sort of man we see before these courts.

“He is a teacher who fell for a pupil and that is his downfall. His life is in ashes and his father is in bits. He can be rehabilitated because he has acknowledged what he has done and he is prepared to seek medical help for his depression.

“This is never going to happen again, it grew up because of a particular situation and a young man found himself wanting in the crucible where he found himself placed.”

Fisher was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for each of the four counts, to run concurrently.

He has been placed on the sex offenders register for ten years and given a prevention order banning him from unsupervised contact with under-16s for five years.

Holmer Green Senior School Headteacher, Michael Jones, said: “The running of our school has not been affected in any way. We are confident that our safeguarding and child protection policies are and have always been strong and robust and the safety and well-being of our students remains our overarching priority.”

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