June 2020

Paedophile teacher from Frodsham jailed for having sex with pupil

A secondary school teacher who had sex with a vulnerable young pupil in his matrimonial bed after a campaign of grooming was today (Fri) jailed for six and a half years.

Married Michael Stone took the vulnerable 13-year-old girl, who thought they were in a relationship and that he loved her, to his Cheshire home while his wife was out.

He had begun abusing her when she was 12 and she kept the year long abuse secret for decades until she finally reluctantly revealed the details to her partner in November 2018 after watching a programme about paedophiles called ‘The Unforgotten’.

Judge Gary Woodhall said that the victim had been particularly vulnerable because of her difficult home circumstances. 

He told the 68-year-old: “You began to befriend and groom her treating her like an adult and making her believe she had a special relationship with you. You behaved in a way which her to trust and like you.”

He said that by the end of the summer term he could easily isolate her the end of the school day and sexually abused her in the classroom. In the following autumn term he continued to abuse her and singled her out, buying her presents.

“She naively and no doubt in part due to her immaturity and vulnerability enjoyed the attention you were giving her and thought what she had with you was a normal relationship – it was far from it.

She believed you cared for her and possibly even loved her… you did not.”

Judge Woodhall said that the abuse happened in his car as well as the classroom and drove her on outings to a secluded beauty stop at Hale. On one occasion he got her to perform a sex act on him which she found particularly unpleasant.

He said that Stone had taken the girl to his home in Frodsham and had sexual intercourse with her but because of statutory time limitations there was no charge relating to that incident.

“At the time she believed she was consenting and engaged in a normal mutual relationship. As an adult and more importantly as her teacher you should have known better.”

He ruled that he is an offender of particular concern and imposed an extra year’s licence meaning he will have to serve three years three months before he can apply to the Parole Board to be released. He ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

In a moving impact statement the victim said she was making the statement, not just for herself but the little girl she used to be. The woman said, It’s important to me that her voice is heard more than mine. She lost more than me she lost her innocence and her childhood. She’s gone and for that i can never forgive or forget.”

“The man sat in court abused me, an innocent scared child for nothing more but his own needs. What scares me more than anything is for such a long time I believed it was because he cared for me, or even loved me like he told me. 

“When a person is vulnerable and scared and looking for reassurance that things are going to be okay, they don’t always question people’s motives.  As a young child who believed that adults knew best, and that they just want to care for you; why would I question otherwise?

“The thing that scares me most is that even now as a well-educated woman, I struggle to accept what happened, that I allowed a man to manipulate and abuse me to such lengths. My coping mechanism for years was to feel sorry for a child that was abused but tried to forget that child was me.  I’d lock all my thoughts in a box and try to forget, which in reality caused me more heartache.”

She said that she was angry that she had allowed herself to be manipulated and she had suffered from panic attacks. When she confided in her partner and he described what had happened as abuse she was so shocked she could not breathe.

Describing him as “a paedophile who had preyed on a vulnerable child” she said she did not believe he felt any remorse. “Now i want him punished, I want his life to change forever the way mine has.”

As the statement was being read to the court Stone’s wife, who was also a teacher, shook her head and was muttering to herself in the public gallery.

During his trial Liverpool Crown Court heard that Stone had given the girl his home phone number and when his wife answered the phone on one occasion she told the girl she had “a crush” on her husband and to leave him alone.

Stone had been unanimously convicted by a jury of nine offences of indecent assault and indecency last month and he admitted two other indecent assault offences involving kissing her.

Sarah Holt, prosecuting, said that Stone, who had been an IT teacher at her Netherley school for 27 years, began sexually abusing the girl when she was 12 and bought her perfume for her 13th birthday.

“He targeted and groomed her. He was nice to her, took an interest in her and treated her like an adult.”

Miss Holt said that for many years the girl thought she had been in a relationship with him but as time passed thinking about it made her feel “dirty and ashamed” and after she had a child of her own she realised what had happened between them was wrong. 

After the first time he kissed and sexually assaulted her in the computer room he told her “no one could ever know about this.”

Stone, of Silverdale Close, Frodsham, denied all the offences, which occurred in the 1990’s.  The jury was told he had admitted two offences of indecently assaulting her involving kissing her and giving evidence he maintained that they had just been “pecks” on the cheek which happened about a dozen times. 

When Stone was led to the cells his wife gave him a thumbs up sign and told him to ring her.