After 25 years, justice catches up with Scarborough pervert PE teacher

A YORKSHIRE PE teacher who took advantage of under-age schoolgirls and subjected them to a series of kinky and violent sex games was jailed today.

Keith Fletcher, 57, now a balding, burly man, used the kudos of being a "handsome" master when he was in his twenties and early thirties to have sexual relationships with impressionable girls.

He targeted two female pupils aged 15, one of their sisters aged 13 and another 15-year-old he met at a school disco and used them to live out his fantasies.

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He then enjoyed a highly successful career at the same school, Scalby secondary school in Scarborough, confident his crimes would never be uncovered - but last year one of his still-traumatised victims, now in her forties, was horrified to find on the internet that he was still teaching at the school.

Fletcher, of Scarborough, was arrested and immediately dismissed - and he has now been imprisoned, stunning the in which he was revered for his youth and charity work.

Victim impact statements revealed his victims were still "significantly traumatised" with "tremendous emotional difficulties" - and this had been exacerbated for one whose children had attended the school while Fletcher was still teaching there.

Jailing him for two years and nine months for 24 sex offences committed between 1975 and 1984, Judge Christopher Batty said: "You were young, handsome and in a position of responsibility and respect. You took advantage of these factors to satisfy your own sexual needs.

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"Frankly, you didn't give a jot that these girls were under the age of consent and were young, naive and impressionable. You had your needs and they came above the welfare of these girls. You told one girl you would take care of her, when actually you took care of yourself.

"It's a very sad day, I have no pleasure in passing this sentence. You were a highly regarded, trusted, valued and much-loved member of a community to which you have contributed so much."

Prosecuting at York Crown Court, Rachel Harrison revealed that the youthful Fletcher was a good-looking man who enjoyed the kudos of becoming a sports teacher at the school where he had been a pupil.

None of the girls had been taught by him personally, but they knew him, were attracted to him and met him at his flat where he would indulge in sex games including bondage.

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She said: "One, aged 15 at the time, met the defendant in a pub. He took her back to his flat and he quite forcefully dictated what would happen."

He later became involved in a full sexual relationship with another 15-year-old girl, who had been abused by her father and was particularly vulnerable.

Miss Harrison added: "School authorities were alerted by rumours flying around about their relationship. They were called into a meeting, but he told her to deny everything, which she did."

He then invited the girl's 13-year-old sister to his flat.

Miss Harrison said: "On one occasion at school, when the eldest had left the school, he told the younger girl she could carry on where her sister left off."

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He met his final victim when he was 31 and she was 15 at a school disco at a parish hall. He had been selling drinks and sweets at the bash when he began chatting with her.

The girl, who was not a pupil at Scalby but knew he was a teacher, asked him to dance and he accepted. Outside the parish hall he "kissed her roughly" and touched her indecently.

In September 2009 this victim contacted police when she became aware via the internet that Fletcher was still teaching.

He was arrested two months later, sacked and despite initially denying the charges, pleaded guilty last month to 22 charges of indecent assault, and two other sex offences.

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Defending, Simon Reevell said: "He was flattered by the attention and acted in a clearly inappropriate way. However content the individuals may have been to engage in sexual activity with him, it was his responsibility to ensure that didn't happen.

"He simply did not stop and appreciate that he was older, it was the mentality of a boy in his teens not realising he was an adult in his twenties."

Fletcher was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and told to sign the Sex Offenders Register. He will serve half of his sentence before being released on licence.

Scalby School describes itself as "Scarborough's top performing secondary school".

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North Yorkshire County Council said in a statement: "Keith Fletcher was suspended from his post as soon as allegations against him of gross misconduct involving sexual relationships with girls who attended the school were known.

"Scalby School has worked closely with all relevant agencies over subsequent months following Mr Fletcher's dismissal from his post.

"We take matters of child protection and safeguarding extremely seriously and we work hard to ensure that children in all schools are as safe as possible."

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