Palatine High School, South Shore, Blackpool

Palatine High School, South Shore, Blackpool

A FORMER Blackpool headteacher abused a young girl after winning her trust – despite knowing she had previously been raped.

Derek Farrand’s victim was under 13 when he began abusing her, after meeting her shortly before he retired from his position at Palatine High School, South Shore, in summer 2009.

Farrand, 59, carried out a number of attacks on the girl – even taking a picture of himself abusing her – as well as one assault on her older sister before his crimes were discovered in June last year.

And yesterday, the former deputy headteacher, who also served as acting head, was told he had “thrown away” his good name and “betrayed the innocence” of the youngsters as a judge jailed him for four-and-a-half years.

He had earlier admitted five counts of sexual assault, three offences of taking indecent pictures of a child and three of making images of a minor.

Today, the family of his young victims’ said they hope he will never be allowed to ruin anyone else’s life.

Speaking after the case, at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court, the girls’ parents said: “I wish they had thrown away the key.

“But we hope now he can’t hurt anyone else the way he has hurt us.

“We are having to move house now because he knows where we live.

“The betrayal was immense. We trusted him from the background he came from, he was an ex-deputy headteacher.

“It’s been a very distressing few months, when it all came out it was like somebody had ripped my heart out and torn it to shreds.”

The crimes of Farrand, of Severn Road, Heywood, Manchester, were discovered when his partner discovered a CD of indecent images, including pictures of his young victim, and he turned himself into police.

His “infatuation” with the young girl began with him buying her gifts including sweets, drinks and even a mobile phone.

Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said given what Farrandwent on to do to the girl these were “self-interested acts of grooming”.

And these sexual assaults came despite knowing the youngest sister had previously been raped, and endured a court case before her attacker was jailed.

Mr Bassano added: “In a victim personal statement (the younger sister) said she felt horrible and hated the defendant. She regarded him as a traitor.

“He had abused their friendship and betrayed the trust placed in him.”

Graham Campbell, defending, said: “This was not a case where the defendant deliberately set out to groom young girls.

“He was a man who had served his community well as a teacher and has now thrown all that away.”As well as abusing the girls, Farrand also had hundreds of unrelated indecent images on his computer.

Jailing him for four years for each of the assaults – to run concurrently – and a further six months for having the images, Judge Jeffrey Lewis said: “By committing these offences you betrayed the innocence of their childhood.”

Farrand was banned from working with children, handed a restraining order not to contact the victim’s family and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order on top of the prison sentence. After the hearing, the girls’ uncle, who lives in Blackpool, added: “This is a punishment which is well deserved and he should serve every day of his sentence.

“The people of Blackpool should know what he has done and I actually think he should have been given an even longer punishment.”

Blackpool Gazette 15/01/13

Teacher jailed for lesbian affair with pupil

A Blackpool-based drama teacher who took advantage of a vulnerable pupil and had a lesbian affair with her has been jailed for three years.

Caroline French, 38, stepped in to save the girl from bullies at the school where she was head of the drama department but committed a “gross breach of trust” when she encouraged an intimate relationship between the pair.

Sentencing her, Judge Stuart Baker said French was “well respected” by colleagues and pupils at her former school in Blackpool, Lancashire, and had excellent career prospects but on the other hand was “manipulative” and “vindictive”.

French, of Darlington, had denied indecently assaulting the teenager and told her trial in March she was not gay despite contrary evidence from pupils and staff at the school.

A jury at Preston Crown Court did not believe her version of events and convicted her of three counts of sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child.

The offences took place between January and April 2004 when her victim was aged 15. French exchanged rings with the girl and even asked her to refer to her at school as “Danny”, a pretend boyfriend, to mask their affair.

The Mirror 13/05/11

Drama teacher convicted of grooming teenage pupil for sex

Guilty: Drama teacher Caroline French has been found guilty of grooming pupils for sex

Guilty: Drama teacher Caroline French has been found guilty of grooming pupils for sex

A drama teacher was today found guilty of grooming a teenage pupil for sex.

Caroline French, 38, was on trial at Preston Crown Court, accused of targeting one of her female pupils while she was a teacher at a secondary school in Blackpool.

French, from Darlington, denied the allegations, claiming she is not gay and that her former pupil was lying.

However, a jury found French guilty of three acts of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child.

Andrew Nuttall, defending, said a custodial sentence would follow, adding that his client’s career is ‘ruined’ and that ‘her life is in tatters’.

During the trial the jury was told French ‘plied’ the teenage pupil with alcohol as she ‘groomed’ her for sex.

Richard Howarth, opening the trial for the prosecution, said French began a relationship with the girl after she had stepped in to stop the 13 year old from being bullied.

He said the victim was ‘vulnerable’ as her mother had a drinking problem and at the same time was starting to question her own sexuality.

The offences were said to have taken place between September 2002 and April 2004.

Mr Howarth said: ‘What the Crown say is that over that period of time there was a process by which the defendant groomed the complainant.’

It started with French giving the girl her landline telephone number following the bullying, the court heard. She then gave the girl her mobile number and then they began communicating on MSN Messenger, an online instant messaging service.

French then started giving the girl lifts home from school.

It developed further with the girl staying at the defendant’s home when she was having problems at home, said Mr Howarth.

Mr Howarth said French ‘plied, or certainly gave, the complainant alcohol’, usually in the form of Budweiser lager.

He said it was at this time, when the girl was 14, that they had a ‘french-type’ kiss while at the defendant’s home.

On a later occasion at the house, the pair moved on to have ‘intimate sexual contact’ and eventually went on to performing oral sex on each other, the court heard.

The relationship finished when the girl was 17.

French went on to have a relationship with another girl who she taught at a different school in the Lancashire town, the jury was told.

The girl moved into French’s home in St Annes when she was 16 and a sixth-form student. They then began a sexual relationship which lasted three years and that the girl changed her surname by deed poll to French.

Giving evidence, French claimed the girl was her lodger.

French was granted bail and will appear back at the court on May 13 for sentencing.

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