Cambridge graduate Ben Breakwell groomed two girls and set up a series of seedy encounters at his home while working at a secondary school in London
A music teacher who had underage sex with two underage girls has been jailed for a total of 17 years.
Cambridge graduate Ben Breakwell groomed two girls, aged 13 and 14, and set up a series of seedy encounters at his home while working at a secondary school in London.
Isleworth Crown Court heard how the 41-year-old professional singer abused his position to engage young pupils in sexual activity.
Breakwell also targeted a third girl, kissing her on the lips after a lesson.
She was upset and later told her friends and then her mother who confronted Breakwell.
The friends of one of the victims approached one of Breakwell’s colleagues in September 2017 and told him of their suspicions.
The school immediately suspended him, police were alerted and an investigation began, led by specialist officers from the West Area Command Unit.
Breakwell was arrested in November 2017.
A search of his computer uncovered indecent images of a fourth victim living abroad.
Breakwell was charged last year with a catalogue of offences arising from his time teaching at the school between 2014 and 2017.
The perverted teacher denied that any sexual relationship had taken place between him and the girls.
Breakwell, who now lives in Monkgate, York, denied but was convicted of 22 charges of sexual activity with a child, three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, four charges of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust, a count of sexual assault, and two allegations of taking indecent photographs of a child.
Kate Shilton, from the CPS, said: “These victims have shown immense fortitude and resilience in speaking out in these court proceedings. Ben Breakwell was a teacher who should have protected them – but instead he violated them.
“He carried out illegal sexual relationships with two of these schoolgirls. He convinced these victims who were just 13 and 14 at the time, that they were together, special to him and in love with one another. In fact, he was manipulative, and he used his position of trust to groom and exploit these young girls.
“Breakwell has never taken responsibility for his actions and throughout the trial denied any sexual activity took place with the victims. This was despite the phone evidence and corroborating testimony the prosecution was able to present, which detailed the similar accounts of victims who did not know each other.
Detective Constable Ben Lawrence-Smith said: “My thoughts are with the young girls who were betrayed by Breakwell. They have all been incredibly brave and it is their courage in speaking out that has brought him to justice.
“Breakwell deceived and abused these girls and then sought to evade any responsibility for his actions. They were manipulated to the point where some felt it was they who were doing wrong. The fact Breakwell was a teacher only compounds this gross betrayal of trust.
‘It is clear that Breakwell was a sexual predator who carefully manipulated these young girls in order to exploit them.
“His victims were very young and he led them to believe they were in love with him, knowing that if they cared for him they were less likely to alert anyone to his crimes.
“It can be difficult for victims of sexual offences, especially when their abusers are people in positions of power and trust, to speak out. I would ask that if you suspect anyone to be at risk from similar manipulation and abuse, please tell someone, either a parent, a carer or someone in authority.
“Due to the predatory nature of Breakwell’s crimes, it is possible there are further victims who have yet to come forward.
“If you or someone you know has been affected by Breakwell’s offending, or you have been a victim of a sexual offence, please come forward to police. Specially trained officers will be there to listen and support all allegations and work to bring offenders to justice.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.