Education News Unleashed

Teacher Who Groped Schoolboy Jailed

A man who worked as a teacher at a primary school in Blackpool, Lancashire, has been sentenced to a year in prison for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old boy during a physical education lesson in June 2004. Anthony Watson, who worked as a geography, IT and PE teacher at the school, initially denied the boy’s claims, but later pleaded guilty to the crime, as well as nine counts of possessing indecent images of children. Following his arrest, police found over 500 pornographic images of children on laptops in Watson’s home, and he admitted to a sexual fascination with pre-teenage boys.

Dennis Watson, the prosecuting lawyer, stated Watson’s actions during this case involved him visiting websites that produced pornography with pre-teen children; however, this was not the limit of his fascination. Watson was a scout leader, and he admitted fantasising about young boys from the age of 17. Judge Philip Sycamore noted that Watson’s behaviours represented a gross breach of trust after he knowingly put himself in a position of working with children.

During the incident in question, Watson led a PE lesson in which he selected two boys as mice for a game of cat and mouse. He took both behind a curtain, where he dismissed one and then proceeded to molest the other, pulling down his pants and assaulting him. The boy later reported having nightmares about the incident, with Watson squeezing and pinching his penis uncomfortably.

In addition to the charges he was sentenced for, another charge of sexual assault with an eight-year-old boy was dismissed. Post-release, Watson will have to register with the police for ten years and join the sex offender’s register. He has received a life ban from working with children. Watson appeared in court dressed in a charcoal grey suit, white shirt, and patterned tie, looking towards the public gallery as he was taken away in handcuffs.