Teacher who raped 14-year-old boy blames 'heavy workload'

'It's appalling mitigation, your workload did not turn you into sexual predator of children', says judge

Colin Drury
Tuesday 04 February 2020 11:18
Teacher who raped 14-year-old boy blames 'heavy workload'

A deputy headteacher who raped a 14-year-old boy and kept indecent images of children on his phone has blamed his heavy workload for turning him into a sexual predator.

Christopher Darler groomed the boy online before twice meeting him for sex.

The 37-year-old, from Sheffield, was only caught after intelligence alerted police to the fact he had uploaded an indecent image of a child to the internet.

After his arrest for that offence, officers discovered WhatsApp chats he had been having with the teenager, who was not a pupil at Darler’s own school, Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham.

The teacher was jailed for 10 years at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday after previously pleading guilty to two counts of rape of a child under 16, meeting a child following sexual grooming, and storing indecent images of children on his phone.

The court also heard he had used the chat app Kik to swap images and stories with another paedophile.

In an impact statement, his victim, who cannot be named said the whole episode had left him “scared of being home alone”.

Sentencing Darler, Judge Peter Kelson condemned the head of social sciences for saying professional stress had somehow triggered his deviancy.

"To blame your workload is appalling mitigation, your workload did not turn you into sexual predator of children," he said. "You were a predator preying on a child, your workload is not to blame. To raise this as mitigation is a disgusting insult to all hard-working teachers."

He added: “You are a wolf in sheep's clothing, you used the sheep's clothing to full effect. You were a predator, you took your fantasy into the real world.

“The worry is there are other victims out there.”

Detective Constable James Crossley, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Darler was in a position of trust and authority, while, at the same time, preying on a boy of similar age to the children he was trusted to be responsible for…

“Although no children from the school where Darler taught were involved in his crimes, this was understandably a very worrying set of circumstances for parents and I commend the school for their continued support and proactive approach with this case.”

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