Simon Parsons – another teacher jailed for sex with pupil

Simon Parsons – another teacher jailed for sex with pupil

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Introduction

It’s been a bad week for the public image of teachers – firstly Stuart Kercher escaped an immediate prison sentence, then Amardip Bhopari was sentenced to 2 years immediate custody.

On 20th January 2015* Simon Parsons, a drama teacher, was sentenced to 12 months due to offences rising out of a 5 year affair with one of his pupils.

 

Facts

The victim was a pupil at Castle School where Mr Parsons was Head of Drama. Over a five year period, starting from when the victim was 17, they had a sexual relationship. This was ended by the victim when she was in her early twenties, by which time they had had a child together.

Mr Parsons pleaded guilty on the specific basis (which appears to have been accepted) that he did not groom the victim, and the prosecution accepted that the sexual activity was consensual (obviously, or else a much more serious offence would have been committed).

It seems that Mr Parsons pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody until sentence. He pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual activity in breach of trust.

 

Sentence

As we’ve looked at before, there are the Sentencing Guidelines (page 67). It is Category 1 and would appear to be Culpability B. This gives a starting point of 12 months, with a range of ½ to 1½ years.

The pregnancy would obviously normally be an highly aggravating factor, but here it appears that this happened after the victim was over 18, and so it would not be. Looking at it, the aggravating and mitigating factors would appear to balance out and so we would be looking at the starting point being about a year, minus the discount for a plea of guilty, so 8-10 months (depending on when the plea was entered)

Here, the sentence appears to be well within the appropriate range in terms of length. Why wasn’t it suspended? The short answer is that we don’t know. On the face of it, this is a sort of case where a suspended sentence would have been unobjectionable (especially as it appears that Mr Parsons has had two months on remand, and therefore had a proper ‘taste of prison’), but we doubt that the Court of Appeal would intervene and suspend it. There is probably no harm in Mr Parsons appealing, but we doubt that he will get very far.

 

_79101850_79101843*Note – we incorrectly stated the year was 2014 rather than 2015…

 

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Wasn’t the sentencing in 2015? Not so much of a bad week otherwise 🙂

    Keep up the excellent work, btw; I’m an aspiring barrister and am learning tons from the blog.

    Cheers!

  2. Ordinarily, I’d say teacher / pupil is wrong, but reading the basic facts, it seems that there was a serious relationship which started when she was 17 and they had a child after 5 years. So why did this end in a court room ?

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