News, Culture & Society

Teacher, 43, who admitted sexual activity with two 16-year-old female pupils faces jail

A secondary school teacher has been told to expect jail after admitting sexual activity with two 16-year-old female pupils.

Richard Ackland, 43, pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual activity and another relating to inciting a girl to take part in sexual activity three years previously.

A court heard he had exchanged a series of messages with the teenagers and had asked one of them to see their naked breasts.

Richard Ackland, 43,  hides his face as he leaves Warwick Crown Court on Monday

Though the girls were above the age of consent his activity was still an offence because of his position of trust at the school in Warwick.

Ackland, of Kenilworth, Warks, appeared at Warwick Crown Court on Monday where he changed his plea on the first day of his trial.

He entered his plea on the basis that he did not touch a girl’s naked breast or put her hand on his genitals under his clothing, and that both acts took place over clothing.

Prosecutor Angus Robertson said: ‘The Crown does not seek to contest that. She said, and it is accepted, that he did ask her to show him her naked breast.

‘In view of the guilty pleas to the more serious charges, and the difficulties in answering certain points raised about the images by a defence expert, it was not considered appropriate to ask for a trial on those matters.’

Ackland appeared at Warwick Crown Court where he changed plea on the first day of his trial

Ackland appeared at Warwick Crown Court where he changed plea on the first day of his trial

Judge Sally Hancox told Ackland: ‘You have pleaded guilty to two counts which, I am sure it has been explained to you, these are serious and significant.

‘The evidence was of a very strong nature. I cannot understate the seriousness of these matters.

‘When you next attend before me, the primary thought will be the imposition of an immediate term of custody, such has been your breach of trust in this case.

‘Do you understand that, even with an acceptance of his basis of plea, the court’s primary thinking will be of a custodial sentence for these offences?

‘Bail will give you the opportunity to put your personal circumstances in order.

‘You must ready yourself to receive an immediate term of custody.’ 

Asking for the case to be adjourned for a pre-sentence report, Miss Hancox, said Ackland, who was now staying at his parents’ address, also in Kenilworth, had never been before the courts before and has ‘a troubled mental health history.’