A Doncaster teacher has been jailed this lunchtime for child sex offences, but has been cleared of the attempted rape of a teeanger.
Paul Worrall, was jailed for 12 months and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years after he had previously admitted offences of sexual activity with a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
However, following a three day trial, a jury at Sheffield Crown Court found the 31-year-old not guilty of the attempted rape of the girl, when she was aged 15, and a charge of sexual activity with a child.
During the trial, Worrall, of Oldham, Lancashire, said he knew he had let down his friends, family and former fiancée by having a relationship with the under-age teenager.
He said: “I know that everything that happened between me and her shouldn’t have happened.”
But Worrall, who taught history at Hall Cross Academy for four years, strenuously denied charges of attempted rape and sexual activity with a child, both against the same girl.
He added: “There’s been no need for me to compel her to do anything, because she was always willing.”
She cannot be named for legal reasons.
Worrall said having a relationship with the girl gave him the ‘excitement factor’ and that ‘girls like her’ did not look at him in a romantic sense when he was their age, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
The former teacher has been jailed for, inciting sexual activity with the girl via text messaging and social media - including Facebook and Twitter.
Prosecuting, David Hall, said Worrall had ‘groomed’ the girl and set out to sexualise the way they interacted with each other from the beginning of his contact with her.
He said: “You encouraged an atmosphere where sexuality was out there.
“It wasn’t love or romance, it was just good old fashioned lust.”
Defending, Andrew Smith, praised Worrall for pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity, and providing police with a ‘detailed account’ of his relationship with the girl.
South Yorkshire Police launched an investigation last August, after messages between Worrall and the girl were discovered by her sister.
Detective Constable Laura Jones said of the case: “His actions had a huge impact on the victim’s life.”
She added: “We have specially-trained officers in place who work with victims from the moment we receive reports of sexual offences to ensure they receive the support they need.
“South Yorkshire Police takes all reports of sexual offences seriously and will work tirelessly to bring offenders to justice.”
Worrall was sacked from Hall Cross Academy when the offences came to light.
He previously held a managerial teaching position at the school, which is the biggest in Doncaster with more than 2,000 pupils and 500 sixth form students.
Speaking after the trial, principal at Hall Cross Academy, Pippa Dodgshon, said in a statement released via Doncaster Council: “As we have previously stated, this unique case refers to a former colleague.”
She continued by saying she wanted to reassure members of the community that academy and local authority processes were strong and effective.