Longer sentence for York teacher who molested primary pupils

Richard Oldham. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Richard Oldham. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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A primary school teacher who molested his pupils and filmed children’s genitals as they changed for swimming lessons has seen his six-month jail sentence more than doubled.

Richard Oldham admitted taking the footage on his mobile phone when he was a teacher in York, as well as touching two pupils inappropriately and possessing hundreds of indecent images of children on his computer.

He was jailed for six months by Judge Rodney Jameson at Leeds Crown Court in September – prompting the Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC MP, to ask the Court of Appeal to look again at the case. The Court of Appeal increased the sentence handed to Oldham to 13 months.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Heald said: “Richard Oldham abused his position of trust and acted in a way that was wholly inappropriate for a teacher, committing sexual offences against young boys who were in his charge and entitled to be safe.

“I asked the court to look again at his overall sentence and consider whether sentences for some of the offences should have been ordered to run consecutively.

“Sexual crimes, especially those which breach the trust between a pupil and teacher, should be punished appropriately.

“Today the court sent a clear message that anyone who violates the trust of children they have been charged to look after will face the proper consequences.”

Oldham, of Holsworthy, Devon, was charged with 23 offences including voyeurism, making and possessing indecent photographs of children and sexual assault.

Oldham’s offending spanned eight years and was uncovered in September last year after a 10-year-old boy complained that the teacher touched him during a lesson. The touching was inappropriate but was over his clothes and did not involve his genitals.

Another 10-year-old boy, at a different school, came forward after seeing media coverage to say he had been touched by Oldham between September 2010 and July last year.

After Oldham was arrested, police found computer equipment at his home which contained more than 2,000 indecent images of children. Although most were at the lower levels, some were level four, described as ‘’the rape of children’’.

The filming at the swimming lessons concentrated on the children’s genitals and Oldham would also talk to the children about erections and pornography.

Judge Jameson also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and ordered Oldham to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years. He was banned for life from working with children.