Disgraced Norfolk teaching assistant jailed for sexually abusing two girls

A disgraced teaching assistant is today starting a six year jail term for sexually assaulting two young girls.

Darren English, 44, of The Street, Norton Subcourse, near Loddon, who worked as a teaching assistant at aSouth Norfolk primary school, had denied three counts of sexual assault on one girl and two further charges against a second.

But a jury of eight women and four men at Norwich Crown Court found him guilty of three offences against one girl and one offence against another following a trial last month.

English, of The Street, Norton Subcourse, appeared yesterday to be sentenced by Judge Anthony Bate.

Before sentencing English yesterday Judge Bate said: 'The breach of trust in this case was a gross one.

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'You were trusted and indeed respected by parents and other staff at the primary school.'

He said the pre-sentence report regarded English as posing a 'high risk of harm to children' and described him as having shown 'no insight' into his offending which he remained 'in denial' over.

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He added the offences had not only had a great impact on the victims but, 'rather like a stone going into a pond' has had a much wider impact, including on the girls' parents.

Jude Durr, mitigating, said this was a 'genuinely sad case' given his client was a highly qualified man of a 'hitherto good character' and of 'positive good character'.

Mr Durr said as a consequence of his conviction he has lost a 'cherished' career, and has 'lost his good name, standing in the community and his reputation'.

During the trial the court was told the allegation involving the first girl came to light after she confided to her mother about what she said was 'her and Darren's secret'.

The school and police were contacted about the matter and English was arrested, but when the school sent out letters informing parents a second girl came forward, and English was arrested for the further offences.

English, who was found not guilty of a second sexual assault against the second victim, was put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

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