Teacher jailed for sex with pupils
Tuesday 05 April 2011
A teacher who dubbed himself the 'Salford Stallion' as he slept with three of his high school pupils was today jailed for six years.
Christopher Drake, 29, committed a "classic breach of trust" in having sex with the girls he taught at a school in Atherton, Greater Manchester.
Sentencing, Judge Timothy Mort told Drake he received his "comeuppance in spectacular fashion" when two of the girls discovered he was two-timing them, which led to his arrest.
It emerged that Drake had been having sex with both his students since they were aged 14 and had also slept with a 16-year-old girl he taught at Hesketh Fletcher Church of England High School.
Drake, of Monton, Salford, was initially employed as a PE teacher before he was promoted to temporary assistant headteacher in June 2009.
Judge Mort told the defendant: "The critical factor is the age gap. You were 12 years older than them. That is a considerable age gap.
"You were a young man, quite immature, but there was a classic breach of trust in having relationships with pupils which you knew you should not be doing."
The two girls who had the surprise meeting at Drake's flat on Valentine's Day last year had both been seeing him for more than 12 months.
Drake had sex with one of them in the school sports hall and in his office, while he had sexual encounters with the other in a pub car park and on a school trip.
Yesterday, prosecutor Justin Hayhoe said a slanging match began when one of the girls entered Drake's unlocked address.
The girl who went to the flat threatened to call the police and ran outside to alert neighbours as Drake told her to "shut up, shut up" and attempted to grab her and calm her down, he said.
When police arrived, they discovered the property had been specially staged for a romantic evening, with rose petals on the floor and balloons adorning the property.
Other items inside were a set of furry handcuffs, bondage ropes with a sign reading "tied up at the moment", an eye mask with the label "naughty but nice", Viagra tablets and vibrators.
Drake's mobile phone was seized during his arrest and it contained recordings of both girls having sex with the defendant.
The 16-year-old girl who slept with Drake near the end of the school term - previous to the other two relationships - said pupils at the school were aware of Drake's self-styled nickname "Salford Stallion" and he had texted her in that name before they had sex.
The defendant admitted at an earlier hearing to numerous counts of sexual activity with a child, sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust, and making and possessing indecent photographs of a child.
He was sentenced to three years each in jail for the sexual offences involving the two girls who he started seeing from the age of 14. He received concurrent terms for the remaining offences.
The judge said Drake had received "glowing references" from his "loving" family and friends, but added: "There was no doubt that the area of your training must have covered the potential danger of inappropriate relationships with pupils.
"You being a secondary school teacher were a role model and in a position of trust.
"You are there to help them and teach them, not to take advantage of them."
He appeared a confident person on the surface and was popular at school as he built up a rapport with the pupils but pre-sentence reports indicated he was insecure and had low self-esteem.
The judge said he had brought the teaching profession into disrepute and his career was "absolutely ruined", but he did not view him as a dangerous offender.
"Having had a spectacular fall from grace it is right to assume you have learned a very hard lesson," Judge Mort said. "I do not consider you a serious risk of repeating this behaviour. I do not think you are a dangerous offender."
The court heard all the sexual encounters were consensual and many took place without protection.
In victim impact statements, the 16-year-old who slept with Drake said he had made her feel "cheated, dirty, worthless and an idiot".
The incident had impacted on her relationships and friendships and she had been the centre of gossip on social networking sites.
The second girl said she "does not feel good about herself now and feels embarrassed" and has difficulty in trusting people.
The third girl, who started seeing Drake when she went to seek his guidance over a family problem, said she now felt she had been "naive and stupid" and thought he had taken advantage of her trust.
Judge Mort said it was clear Drake's victims now all had problems trusting people.
He said: "One hopes with the passage of time that these girls will be able to move on with their lives but it has plainly had an affect."
Following sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Bill McGreavy said: "As a teacher, Drake was a role model to young people and held a position of trust.
"He breached the faith placed in him by the school, pupils and their parents in the most appalling way.
"There are no excuses whatsoever for his actions and I hope his victims and their families can move forward with their lives and try and put these events behind them now that he has been sentenced.
"Greater Manchester Police, the school, the governors and local education authority worked together fantastically and our partnership was a true example of helping in the safeguarding of children."
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