Former Exeter teacher jailed for sexual assaults on teenage girls

teacherverification November 25, 2014 0

A disgraced PE teacher has been jailed for having sex with two teenage girls on a gym horse at the school where he taught.

Paul Cole was a good looking and fit young sportsman who looked like Take That star Gary Barlow when he took advantage of the schoolgirls after they developed crushes on him in the 1990s.

He kissed and fondled them before having sex in a store room at the school in North Devon while they were in uniform and were either on breaks or bunking off other lessons.

Cole had sexual encounters outside school with two more girls but could not be prosecuted because they were over 16 and consenting, meaning it was legal at the time.

Cole, 45, moved on to teach at schools in Crediton and Exeter but was dismissed when the former pupils went to the police two years ago.

He was jailed for six years after a judge told him he had committed a serious breach of trust and exploited the girls’ obsession with him.

Cole, of Franklyn Drive, Exeter, denied two counts of indecent assault against one girl and five against the other. He was found guilty on all charges by a jury at Exeter Crown Court and jailed for six years by Judge Francis Gilbert QC.

He told him: “You were convicted on what can only be described as overwhelming evidence of serious sexual offences against two girls, one aged 14 and one aged 15, who were both pupils at the school at which you taught.

“You were in a position of trust towards both of them and this was a serious abuse of that trust. The fact that both girls were besotted with you is no excuse, if anything it is an aggravating feature.

“You allowed their obsession with you to give you the opportunity too take advantage of them in the way that you did. Your defence was that they were all lying. That is not attractive.”

During a two-week trial the jury heard from the two girls, now in their 30s and with children of their own, about how they had developed crushes on Cole, who was said to be a Gary Barlow lookalike at the time but is now bald and overweight.

They said he kissed them, touched them, and had full sex with them on or next to the gym horse in the sports store in the PE block where he worked.

One victim recalled how she had been in uniform and had left another lesson on the pretext that she was doing course work for a GCSE in physical education that Cole was teaching.

She described the inside of the gym store in great detail, complete with the position in which netball and football posts were stored and the size and shape of the segmented vaulting horse.

The two 16-year-old girls said they took part in other sex acts when he took them on trips away from the school including one to his flat in Exeter and another to the Reading Festival, where he invited her into his tent.

The girls did not report the abuse at the time because they were embarrassed by it but the police began an inquiry after one made disclosures in 2011 because she was concerned Cole may still have access to young people.

Cole denied having any contact with any of the girls while they were students but said he had kissed one when they met after they left.

Fiona Elder, defending, said he should be given credit for all the good work he did during his 20-year teaching career.

She said no other complaints had come to light despite police sending questionnaires to all Year 10 and 11 girls at Queen Elizabeth School in Crediton, where he was teaching at the time of his arrest.

She said: “This was an isolated period of offending by a new and young teacher in extremely unfamiliar surroundings.”


Source: exeterexpressandecho

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