Teacher jailed after affair with pupil


- Credit: Archant

A CLEVEDON teacher - described as a ‘caring, considerate human being’ - has been jailed for four years after having sex with one of his pupils.

Richard Stevens.

Richard Stevens. - Credit: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Richard Stevens, of Butterfield Park, appeared for sentencing at Bristol Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to one count of sexual touching of a girl aged 15 and 10 counts of sexual intercourse with a girl aged 15.

The incidents occurred while the girl was still one of Stevens’ pupils at a school in North Somerset.

Judge Martin Picton told the court that, while it was a consensual relationship, it had a ‘devastating’ effect on the victim.

He said: “You were a teacher in the school and you utterly failed to provide the trust and respect she and her parents were entitled to receive.”

Robert Duval, prosecuting, told the court the teenager developed a crush on 35-year-old Stevens and they had ‘deep and meaningful’ conversations, at a time when his marriage was failing.

He said: “The defendant, from start to finish, failed to exercise any restraint in his position of authority.

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“They started meeting socially out of school and she attended his home address.

“It followed on from there at his home address where he had sexual intercourse with the girl. They went on a camping trip and had sex and stayed in a hotel in Cardiff.”

After five months Stevens ended the relationship, and had taken up a new one with an adult.

Mr Duval said: “The young girl was very distressed and suffered badly.

“The victim then acquired a boyfriend and during an exchange of confidences this matter came out. The young couple took advice from the NSPCC and made a complaint to the police.”

Stevens initially denied any wrongdoing when he was arrested and interviewed, but a week later he returned to the police station, apologised for wasting the officers’ time and made a full and frank admission to the 11 charges.

The court also heard Stevens is to become a father next month with the partner he left his victim for.

Mark Hollier, defending, said: “The relationship was entirely consensual. It was the complainant that instigated contact.

“He (Stevens) returned to the police station without a solicitor and was interviewed and made a series of frank admissions. This is almost unheard of in cases of this gravity.

“Letters from his family and long standing relationships describe him as a considerate, caring human being.

“He’s not the insensitive brute that this offence first suggests he is.”

Judge Picton said: “There are very good things said about you and they are difficult when placed against what you have done. But you’re going to pay a heavy price for this wrongdoing.”

Stevens was sentenced to four years in prison, of which he will serve at least two. He was also disqualified from working with children permanently, placed on the sex offenders list and ordered to sign onto the sexual offenders’ register, which he will remain on permanently.