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Sex dungeon headmaster, 74, banned for life


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James Stewart, pictured, former head of Sawtry Village Academy in Cambridgeshire, has been banned from teaching for life

A headteacher who regularly had drunken romps in his sex dungeon office with his married secretary has been banned from teaching for life.

James Stewart also defrauded his school out of £103,000 and was jailed for four years in 2017 for fraud.

The 74-year-old had been principal of Sawtry Community College in Cambridgeshire for nearly 30 years and blew the money on drink, smoked salmon, oysters and custom-made furniture for his office which he converted into an apartment with a bed and dining area.

The horse racing fan was even spotted on TV at Newmarket races with his PA Christine Laxton and took annual skiing holidays during term time.

Stewart, who was paid £120,000 a year, was having an affair with her and the pair were seen coming out of his office with wine stains around their mouths and with their hair and clothing in disarray.

His office contained multiple sex aids, drawers full of condoms and wet wipes and cards depicting various Kama Sutra acts, a game called Saucy Charades and shelves stacked with alcohol.

A court heard it was described as having a ‘seedy smell and had locks on the inside’.

One witness claimed the laughing sounds from the office sounded like ‘the Benny Hill show’ and other noises were of a ‘sexual nature, rhythmic moaning and banging’.

Now the Teaching Regulation Authority has banned Stewart for life from teaching again.

The TRA disciplinary panel sitting in Coventry said: ‘These behaviours include fraud or serious dishonesty.

‘The panel found that Mr Stewart had been responsible for serious and systematic fraud over a prolonged period of time for which he was subsequently convicted and received a custodial sentence.’

Stewart's office contained a large amount of alcohol

Investigators also found wet wipes

The principal – who had worked at the school for more than 30 years – defrauded the school of more than £100,000 to fund his seedy pursuits and regularly drank heavily during the day 

Inspectors searching Stewart's office discovered this game of Saucy Charades on a shelf

Inspectors searching Stewart’s office discovered this game of Saucy Charades on a shelf 

The panel chairman Roger Woods said: ‘Whilst Mr Stewart previously had a good record, the panel found no evidence that the teacher’s actions were not deliberate, nor was he acting under duress. In fact, the panel found the teacher’s actions to be calculated, motivated and sustained for a number of years.’

Decision maker Alan Meyrick, representing the Secretary of State, said his ban would be indefinite. Stewart did not attend the hearing and was not represented.

When he was jailed in October 2017, a court heard investigators found a large purple sex toy, penis-shaped straws and a fridge full of champagne. 

The room, described as having rugs and cushions with wet wipes on the floor, was discovered during a raid by investigators probing fraud claims.

There was also watermelon lubricant and cards from the karma sutra inside.

Staff first raised the alarm with Oftsed inspectors after spotting Stewart and his married PA Christine Laxton on Channel 4 as they attended Newmarket races when he claimed to have been at a meeting.

They told how they had heard laughing sounds when Stewart was in his lavishly furnished office with Mrs Laxton, along with clear sounds of a ‘sexual nature, rhythmic moaning and banging’, Huntingdon Crown Court heard.

He was also heard serenading her on his electric piano.

Sex toys were also discovered next to images of Stewart in the 'sex dungeon'

Sex toys were also discovered next to images of Stewart in the ‘sex dungeon’

This cabinet full of alcohol was found inside the office by investigators

This cabinet full of alcohol was found inside the office by investigators

The school’s site manager, said during the summer holidays he heard sounds coming from Stewart’s office ‘likened to the Benny Hill Show’. 

Investigations revealed that the £120,000 a year had made £80,000 worth of bogus expenses claims to buy luxury items including smoked salmon and oysters.

Other claims made by Stewart often using his private credit card were for £570 on private car insurance, £11,000 on garden centres and DIY stores and £3,000 on fish and wine. 

The principal had worked at Sawtry Community College in Cambridgeshire, pictured, for more than 30 years

The principal had worked at Sawtry Community College in Cambridgeshire, pictured, for more than 30 years

Judge Stuart Bridge said  Stewart had become a ‘joke’ as he abused his headship at the academy for five years until he ‘resigned in disgrace’ in 2014.

The court heard the school had been left in a ‘dire financial’ position by the fraud, it had ‘haemorrhaged staff,’ and it had been put in ‘special measures’ during at Ofsted inspection in 2014.

Stewart, who read history at Cambridge, admitted six counts of fraud and one of misconduct in a public office.

Stewart’s associate principal Alan Stevens, 66, was given a 24 week suspended sentence and ordered to do 80 hours unpaid work for also defrauding the school with bogus expense and credit card claims worth £364.59.

Sentencing Stewart, the judge described him as ‘overbearing, bullying and superior.

He said: ‘You failed to provide quality of education in staff development and resources, to the detriment of the reputation of the college.

‘It is impossible to calculate the impact of your conduct.

Investigators found a purple sex toy in Stewart's office as well as some alcohol

Investigators found a purple sex toy in Stewart’s office as well as some alcohol 

‘You are paid to exercise discipline, to lead and get respect from children, staff and parents.

‘You conducted yourself in such a way you became something of a joke.

‘You appear now a man quite rightly a man humiliated by his actions.

‘I am of the view that the only sentence this court can pass is a substantial sentence of immediate custody.’

The court heard how Stewart and Stevens’ fraudulent claims were ‘rubber-stamped’ by the school’s governing body’s Responsible Officer, John Kelly.

The school’s bursar Lisa Killner told police the late Mr Kelly claimed he ‘just did what Stewart asked him to do’ and that ‘they [Stewart and Stevens] were just signing off on each other’s expenses.’

The court heard Deputy Principal Sarah Shaw-Wilson felt Stewart had been ‘undermining and humiliating’ to her when she tried to introduce changes to tutoring in 2010.

She told Ofsted inspectors there was a ‘distinct lack of leadership’ by Stewart and Stevens during an inspection which saw the school put into special measures.

Staff also told how Stewart was called a ‘racist, sexist, fattist bully’ by staff and boasted his management style was ‘to divide and conquer’.

Staff told inspectors that Stewart’s absences from the school were a ‘running joke’.

Stewart’s swipe card showed he was rarely in school before 10.30. 

Photographs shown in court showed Stewart’s office with a custom-made bookcase, furniture, cushion and bedding area, electric piano, fridge full of wine, a small electric hot plate for cooking, a fridge with champagne in it and a drawer full of penis straws.

Sex objects were also found in the office

The office also contained wet wipes and cleaning products

Stewart pleaded guilty to charges brought against him in March 2017, including one misconduct in public office charge that stated he regularly had sex with an adult

Criminal charges were brought against the pair in December 2014 after the Education Funding Agency investigated the school in July of that year.

This investigation followed a June 2014 Ofsted inspection, which put the College into special measures.

Stewart pleaded guilty to charges brought against him in March 2017, including one misconduct in public office charge that stated he regularly had sex with an adult in his college office specially modified for this habit.

The misconduct charge also included the fact that he often drank alcoholic beverages on school property and kept others from meeting with him by shutting himself in his office for long periods of time, arriving late and leaving early for horse races and skiing holidays abroad.

Stewart also pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud, including making false expense claims and unwarranted direct debit payments at Cambridge Crown Court. These totalled to more than £100,000.

He has since paid back the £100,000. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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