York school teacher jailed for child sex offences

16 September 2013

A primary school teacher from York has been jailed after admitting to a number of sexual offences against children.

Richard Arthur Oldham, aged 32, of Holsworthy, in Devon, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court today (Monday 16 September 2013).

He was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, must sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and is banned from working with children for life.

Oldham pleaded guilty to three counts of voyeurism, 14 counts of making indecent images of a child, and five counts of sexual assault, at an earlier hearing.

Officers uncovered the scale of Oldham’s depraved behaviour after a pupil reported that he had touched him in a sexual manner while teaching him at one of the schools he worked at in York in September 2012.

Following media coverage of the initial incident another pupil came forward and reported that Oldham had touched him inappropriately at another of the schools he taught at in York between September 2010 and July 2012.

While investigating the incidents, officers seized Oldham’s computer and found videos of him assaulting other children, who have not been identified.

In total, Oldham had more than 2000 indecent images of children on his computer.

Detective Sergeant Adam Normanton, of York Protecting Vulnerable Persons Unit, said:

Richard Oldham is a predatory paedophile. It is quite apparent by evidence obtained during the course of the investigation that he actively pursued a career in teaching to enable himself a position where he could abuse children for his own sexual gratification.

His wickedness is such that he particularly abused the children who he thought would either not tell anyone or would not be believed.

Oldham’s guilty pleas on 5 August 2013 were the first time he had acknowledged his offending. When questioned by police he dismissed the evidence of the children and tried to distance himself from the catalogue of child abuse images on his computer including the videos he had himself recorded.

Oldham tried to portray himself as the model teacher to the police, his colleagues and his family. He was in fact the opposite, he was every parents worst nightmare and prison is the right place for him.

I would like to thank the children and their families for coming forward to the police and I acknowledge and praise their courage as they prepared to give evidence at trial.

I would also like to publically acknowledge the dedication during the investigation of Detective Constables Tracey Williams nee Lumb from the Protecting Vulnerable Persons Unit and Les Gilroy of the Hi-Tech Crime Unit.

If you would like to report a sexual offence please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for York or Harrogate Protecting Vulnerable Person’s Unit.

If you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.

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