Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Teacher admits child sex offences

Richard Oldham leaves Leeds Crown Court where he was warned he will be jailed after admitting a string of sex offences involving young boys

A primary school teacher has been warned he will be jailed after admitting a string of sex offences involving young boys, including sexual assaults, voyeurism and making indecent videos of children.

Richard Arthur Oldham, who worked at several schools in York at the time of the offences, also pleaded guilty to possessing more than 2,000 pornographic images of children.

Oldham, 31, who now lives in North Tamerton, Holsworthy, Devon, admitted a total of 23 counts at Leeds Crown Court. They include sexually assaulting two boys of primary school age and three counts of voyeurism by recording a private act. He admitted 13 offences of making indecent images of children, including pornographic videos, and possessing 2,076 indecent photographs of children.

Oldham's barrister Alisdair Williamson said the defendant's admissions represented "a grave step for this still-young man to take".

The former teacher denied one charge of sexual activity with a child, alleged to have happened between August 2006 and July 2007, which will not be pursued.

The offences span from 2003 to last September.

Judge Peter Collier QC told Oldham to be under no illusion about the severity of his crimes, which will "inevitably lead to a sentence of immediate custody".

"You will understand when you come back for sentence it is almost certain that the sentence passed on you will be a custodial sentence," he said. "Obviously you will get significant credit for your guilty pleas tended at this stage."

He granted Oldham, who is of previous good character, bail on the condition that he adheres to an electrically-monitored curfew, reports to police three times a week and does not enter the city of York. Judge Collier also said the defendant must not have any contact with children under the age of 16.

The case was referred for pre-sentence reports and Oldham will appear at the same court on September 16 to be sentenced.

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