Wiltshire teacher guilty of inciting four teenage pupils to engage in sexual activity (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Wiltshire teacher guilty of inciting four teenage pupils to engage in sexual activity
Updated 4:13pm Monday 19th May 2014 in News
Pervert teacher Alexander Thomas was today found guilty of causing or inciting four teenage Wiltshire pupils to engage in sexual activity by a jury at Swindon Crown Court.
But Thomas, 30, of Queen Elizabeth Drive, Taw Hill, Swindon, was found not guilty of directly engaging in sexual activity with two of the girls whilst in a position of trust.
The business studies teacher, who has been on trial since May 5, pleaded guilty to an eighth count of possessing an indecent image of one of the girls last week.
Judge Tim Mousley QC, who will sentence the defendant on Friday, June 13, told him prison was likely destination for him when he returns to the dock.
He said: “You will be bailed between now and then [June 13] and that will be unconditional.
“You must not take that as an indication there will not be a prison sentence.
“The sentencing guidelines, as I can see, a custodial sentence is the probability at least, in this case, and may well be a certainty.”
After the conviction, Wiltshire Police child abuse investigator Detective Constable Angela Spray said: “Today at Swindon Crown Court, Alexander Thomas, 30, has been found guilty of a number of offences relating to inciting children to engage in sexual activity and abusing his position of trust.
“Thomas worked as a secondary school teacher in Wiltshire where he systematically abused the position of trust he was in to prey on vulnerable, underage children for his own sexual gratification.
“Thomas groomed his victims and encouraged them to engage in sexual acts after gaining their confidence and trust.
“He has refused to take any responsibility for his actions and has forced his victims to relieve their suffering and give evidence in court.
“I would urge anyone who has been the victim of any sexual assault to contact Wiltshire Police immediately – we have dedicated officers who are specially trained to help those who have been abused.
“Anyone wishing to report a crime should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.”
Victims can also seek support and counselling from the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) based at the New Swindon Sanctuary, The Gables, Shrivenham Road, Swindon.
The Sexual Assault Referral Centre offers support to any victim of a sexual assault where trained professionals can provide immediate medical care and treatment, a forensic examination, counselling and onward referral to other necessary services.
The centre offers a 24-hour helpline on 0808 168 0024 or log onto www.newswindonsanctuary.co.uk