July 2023

Former Aldenham School tutor jailed over three decades-old rape

A former private school tutor who raped a teenage girl three decades ago has been jailed.

Alun Pickford, 54, had denied of the rape of an 18-year-old at Aldenham School in Hertfordshire in the early 1990s but was convicted at St Albans Crown Court.

She had gone to sleep in his one-bedroom flat on the school estate believing he was going to sleep on a sofa in the living room.

A judge jailed him for seven years.

Pickford, now of Westbury in Wiltshire, will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life after he is released.

Hertfordshire Police said the woman, who had not been any kind of relationship with Pickford, reported the rape to police in 2020 after “years of mental anguish”.

The court heard the victim felt “paralysed” when he entered the bedroom and raped her.

He further humiliated her by leaving a note in which he described her as a “dead dog”.

In a victim statement, the woman said she had been treated with “utter contempt” by Pickford.

“The rape sucked the confidence from me and robbed me of my teenage memories,” she said.

“He is not only a rapist, but also a thief.

“I felt sullied and devalued by what he had done. I could do nothing to stop what happened in his flat.

“Going to the police was the best decision I could have made and I would implore anyone in my position to do the same.”

He no longer teaches and is a self-employed builder.

Judge Lana Wood said Pickford had shown “an abhorrent attitude to sexual relations” at the time of the crime.

“You were entitled and assumed and presumed consent on no discernible basis,” she said.

“You did not stop to question as to whether she wanted to consent. After the event you treated her with contempt.”