October 2021

Teacher from Thatcham groomed girl with sweets before abusing her

A female teacher plied a pupil with sweets, groomed, and repeatedly sexually assaulted her for years, a jury ruled.

Carly Dear, who lives in Thatcham, branded her brave mentally scarred victim’s accusations “a lie, sick and disgusting” during a trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

But jurors convicted the 46-year-old of six charges of historic sexual abuse while she was a serving PE teacher at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, in Maidstone, Kent.

The former Ashford women’s hockey captain bowed her head and wept after the verdict was delivered.

Dear’s victim told jurors she was “convinced she was in a relationship with the pupil and became “furious” when she discovered she had a boyfriend.

The girl told how Dear plied her with sweets to groom her before groping her in changing rooms and repeatedly sexually assaulting her.

Dear would harass the girl over the phone and say “I missed you so much” when she returned from holidays.

She also told the girl she loved her repeatedly and coaxed her back to her home in Whitstable, Kent, where she carried out progressively serious sexual acts.

After the student started university, Dear kept hounding her and travelled hundreds of miles to her campus and locked her in a hotel room in a bid to perform sexual acts.

When the girl said she was going to the police, Dear “panicked” and said she would send her around £10,000.

But Dear told jurors: “It is a lie; it is sick and disgusting. I have had this for four years, that I have done something that I did not do.

“The allegations have taken my home, my teaching career, all for something I did not do.”

Dear, who also taught at Brockhill Park in Hythe and Rochester Grammar School, told prosecutors from the box: “I am not the monster.”

She also rejected allegations she bribed the girl with £10,000 when she threatened to go to police.

Dear argued the money was to help her with a drug problem, exercise classes and help her rebuild her life after an unexpected financial issue.

She added the pupil made advances onto her after she went beyond the pale, listening to her problems, sending texts and offering lifts.

When prosecutor Gary Venturi asked if she assaulted the girl inside her car, she said: “No.”

Dear bowed her head and wept as the jury delivered its verdict.

She was convicted by majority of four counts of indecent assault, one count of abusing a position of trust and inciting sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 17.

She was acquitted of one count of sexual assault, an allegation she touched the girl over clothes in school changing rooms.

Judge Mark Weekes told Dear that her “head has been buried in the sand” and that “a lengthy custodial sentence is inevitable”.

Dear was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on January 14 next year pending reports.