Former Chesterfield art teacher “who taught thousands” jailed for sex with pupil in the 1970s
A former Chesterfield art teacher who taught “thousands” has been jailed for 20 months after admitting a two-year sexual relationship with a pupil aged just 14 in the 1970s.
Newbold Green Secondary School teacher Christoper Sheard, 74, had sex with the young girl in his home and in fields nearby on a number of occasions between 1974 and 1976.
Jailing him at Derby Crown Court today Judge Shaun Smith QC told him “the only appropriate punishment” was immediate custody “despite” his age and the age of the offence.
Judge Smith told him: “She was 14 and you were her teacher and you should have known better.
“What you did was very, very wrong - you took part of her childhood. She has suffered and you have not.”
Judge Smith described how father-of-two Sheard, who he described as a “very approachable and likeable person”, had given his victim the kind of “attention” she was not getting at home.
He said: “She was infatuated and you found that to be very appealing.”
Prosecutor Siward James-Moore told the court how in 1974 Shear met the pupil, just 14 at the time and looking for a “father figure”, outside the Rutland Arms pub and invited her to his home for “coffee”.
Once there he showed her slides showing him having sex and for the next two years he met her “regularly” for sex.
Sheard even took the love-struck youngster on weekends away to London and the Lake District in the hot summer of 1976 - claiming they were educational.
Mr James-Moore said the relationship came to an end in 1978 when the girl - now older - realised “it was not going anywhere”.
However the prosecutor said in 1995 Sheard contacted her again, saying he had found some of her old artwork at his home and said “hadn’t they been naughty when she was at school”.
The court heard Sheard's victim - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - came forward to police in 2016 after seeing similar cases reported in the news.
Judge Smith read excerpts from her personal statement in which she described feeling “ashamed” and “angry about what (Sheard) had done”.
Reading from the statement Judge Smith said: “She wanted to say something for many years but was afraid.”
He added that Sheard “took advantage” of her “difficult” family life - “extending to her the kindness” she was not getting at home.
She also spoke of feelings of “worthlessness” and said “the guilt will be here forever”.
Judge Smith told Sheard he lived an “almost blameless” and “productive life”.
However he added: “I say, almost blameless” - the reservation is of course that for a two-year period in your life you did something that was very wrong and very serious.”
Defence counsel Richard Gibbs told the court Sheard had taught “thousands” of pupils to a high standard in a “respected and respectable way”.
He added: “This has had a devastating impact on him and his family - Mr Sheard will have to live with that for the rest of his life.
“He is someone who in his advanced years will be vulnerable in custody.”
He added Sheard had “property in France” and would not now be able to spend time there.
Sheard, of North Wingfield Road, Grassmoor, admitted four counts of indecent assault on a girl under 16.