Former Norfolk school technician jailed for sex offences
PUBLISHED: 15:55 05 November 2012 | UPDATED: 19:21 05 November 2012
A former Norfolk high school DT technician described as a “predatory paedophile” was jailed today (Monday) for five and half years for a string of sex offences.
Norwich Crown Court heard today that he had been given a previous warning about his inappropriate behaviour toward teenage girls.
Andrew Morton, who worked at Swaffham Hamond’s High School abused his position of trust and used social networking sites like Facebook to meet and groom his young vulnerable victims, and was said to have carried out “predatory, calculated and prolonged abuse” Norwich Crown Court heard.
The 30 year-old admitted 24 charges including meeting a child following sexual grooming as well as five charges of sexual activity with the same victim.
Morton, of Longfields, Swaffham, who was also a member of a local rock band, also admitted possessing 192 indecent images of children and 13 counts of taking his own indecent images of the victim, who he got to pose for his own sexual gratification.
He also admitted attempting to engage another young girl in sexual activity and showing an indecent photo of a child and possessing extreme porn.
Gerard Pounder, prosecuting, said that Morton worked full time as a design technology technician at the school and also had taken some lessons, although not a fully qualified teacher.
He had been given child protection training but in October 2008 he said there had been a problem concerning Morton when it emerged that he had contacted a pupil via Facebook and he was given advice about his behaviour and then in April 2009 a verbal warning was given after it was found that he had sent a text message of a sexual nature to a pupil.
Mr Pounder said that Morton claimed he sent the text by mistake and Mr Pounder said: “He was then spoken to by the school and given strong professional advice from the school.”
However when the new allegations emerged in 2012 a different safeguarding team was in place at the school and police were immediately contacted about Morton.
Jailing Morton for five and half years and placing him on the sex offender’s register for life, Recorder Katharine Moore said: “These offences are a gross abuse of trust. What you used was your power and influence and what you did was to corrupt a vulnerable girl.”
Maryam Syed, for Morton, said that he had expressed his genuine remorse and realises he has been stupid..
She said he was not employed as a teacher but a DT technician and said: “In due course he did have a role where he did offer instruction and teach.”
For the full story and reaction, see tomorrow’s EDP.