A former boarding school teacher has been jailed for 12 years for a number of sexual offences against pupils at two schools.
Simon Ball, 42, of Newent, Gloucestershire, was arrested on February 10, last year, after reports were made to police that he had been having a sexual relationship with a student he taught at Kimbolton School.
The victim disclosed when she was 16 she entered into a sexual relationship with Ball after what had started as appropriate teacher/student communication by text to arrange lessons developed into something more.
Following the allegations an investigation was launched which uncovered further information in relation to Ball, specifically around an allegation of a similar nature when he was a teacher at his previous school, Giggleswick Senior School, in North Yorkshire.
It was alleged that in 2004, Ball had sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl, as well as other offences including a historical rape of a 15-year-old girl and sexual assault on an 11-year-old girl, all of whom were his students.
On July 8, 2004, Ball was arrested by North Yorkshire Police on suspicion of indecent/sexual assault and abuse of position of trust offences, however the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) concluded there was insufficient evidence to proceed any further. Ball was released with no further action.
He received an oral warning in 2001 for ‘inappropriate behaviour’ and left Giggleswick Senior School to work at Kimbolton while the investigation was taking place into allegations made against him.
The Giggleswick investigation was subsequently reopened after the allegations were made by the Kimbolton student last year.
On March 2, this year, Ball was charged with five counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 17, one count of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing indecent images of children, one count of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14, two counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16, four counts of abuse of position of trust relating to sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 18, one count of abuse of position of trust relating to engaging in sexual activity with a girl under the age of 18, and one count of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14.
The charges relate to allegations involving four girls who were aged between 13 and 17 at the time of the alleged offences, between 2001 and 2012. Seven of the charges relate to one girl while Ball was teaching at Kimbolton, the remaining charges relate to three girls during a period when Ball was teaching at a previous school, Giggleswick, in North Yorkshire.
On May 3 at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court Ball pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13-17 whilst in a position of trust, one count of making indecent photographs of a child and one count of possessing indecent photographs of a child relating to the relationship he had been having with the student from Kimbolton, but denied the remaining nine charges against him relating to students from Giggleswick.
On Thursday (November 24), following a nine-day trial at Peterborough Crown Court, he was found guilty of four counts of engaging in sexual activity whilst in a position of trust in relation to two of the victims from Giggleswick School, who were aged 15 to 16 at the time and of one count of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14, in relation to the third victim from Giggleswick. The jury were unable to reach a verdict on the remaining four counts.
Today (Tuesday), he appeared at the same court and was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison. He has also been issued a life-long sexual harm prevention order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life. He must also pay a victim surcharge of £120 to each of his four victims.
Detective Constable Hayley Kendall, from the Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit, said: “These were predatory offences committed against vulnerable, young people by a person in a position of trust, whose duty was supposed to be to protect and safeguard those in his care.
“This investigation could not have begun without the bravery of the first victim coming forwards and subsequently, the further victims who attended court to give evidence.
“No matter how long ago these crimes occur, they can have a devastating and long lasting effect on victims. I hope that this result offers them some form of closure and today’s sentence will encourage others to report abuse, whether historical or current, to the police.”