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Former primary school teacher sentenced for child rape

|News, Sexual offences

A former Sheffield teacher who acted as a 'sugar daddy' to a 12-year-old girl has sentenced for raping a child.

Simon Murch, 55, was jailed today (15 February 2024) for seven and a half years with an extended licence period of 12 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court after pleading guilty at his first hearing to one count of rape of a girl under 13. He was also put on the sex offender’s register for life and made subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

In June 2023, Murch exchanged messages with the schoolgirl in which she claimed she was 18 and asked to be her sugar daddy. He also asked her for nude photos and sent her an explicit video of himself. He started to give her money via PayPal and arranged to meet her for sex.

On 24 June 2023, he picked her up near her house and took her to a hotel room in Stoke-on-Trent where he raped her. Afterwards, he took her to a toyshop where he spent £500 on her.

Murch’s offending came to light in July 2023 when the child disclosed to a safeguarding teacher at school that she had a 'sugar daddy'.

When he was arrested and interviewed, he claimed that he thought she was 18-years-old. However, it was quite evident from the girl's appearance that she could not have been that age.

Andrew Crump of the CPS said: “Horrifyingly, at the time of the offence, Simon Murch was a primary school teacher who was in a position of trust and had a duty of care to children and although the victim was not his student, it is deeply concerning that someone in his position could take advantage of a vulnerable child for his own sickening gratification. 

"By abusing that trust, Murch has caused immeasurable harm to the child and her family. I hope that with Murch behind bars, the child and her family can now begin the recovery process.“

Notes to editors

  • Andrew Crump is a Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS West Midlands

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