A 43-year-old teacher from Kenilworth has today (Friday) been sentenced at Warwick Crown Court to two years in jail after pleading guilty to two charges of engaging in sexual activity with two female pupils at a school in Warwickshire.
Richard Ackland engaged the first student in sexual activity in his classroom. This was following the pair exchanging a number of explicit messages about sexual intercourse via social media.
His second inappropriate relationship led him engaging in sexual intercourse with a female student on a number of occasions. He also bought her a number of gifts.
Following the students making their reports to the school and then to the police the defendant was arrested in April 2017. He continued to deny the allegations, but on the first day of trial, he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in a position of trust.
Ian Crooks, Senior Crown Prosecutor, from the CPS said: “Richard Ackland abused the trust placed in him as a public servant by exploiting the emotional vulnerabilities of two female students.
“Despite the weight of the evidence against him Richard Ackland accused the students of being “fantasists” and one in particular of “stalking” him. His late guilty pleas have at least spared the victims the ordeal of having to relive the events in the full glare of a public trial. We at the CPS pay tribute to them, though, for being willing to stand up in court and testify to Richard Ackland’s activities.”
Following the sentencing Detective Chief Inspector Jon Belcher of Warwickshire Police said: “We welcome the conviction and sentence and I hope it will offer some comfort to the victims who were manipulated by Ackland over a period time.
“During the time of the offences Ackland was in a position of trust as a teacher at the school. The victims have shown great courage in reporting this to us and throughout the investigation.
“I hope this conviction will provide reassurance to other victims of sexual offences, giving them the confidence to report, and the confidence that they will be believed and that police will do everything to bring offenders to justice.
“If anyone has been affected by this case then I encourage them to come forward and make a report to police.”
If you are a victim of a sexual offence you can report it to police on 101. In an emergency dial 999.
If you do not feel comfortable speaking to officers, you can contact a referral centre which specialises in helping victims of rape and sexual assault - including providing medical care and counselling.
In Warwickshire you can contact the Blue Sky Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) on the site of George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton. For more information go to www.blueskycentre.org.uk, call 01926 507805 or e-mail email@example.com