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Former Lowestoft teacher sexually assaulted boy

PUBLISHED: 09:09 03 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 July 2010

A DISGRACED former teacher who sexually assaulted a schoolboy after plying him with drink has walked free from court after being given a suspended prison sentence.

A DISGRACED former teacher who sexually assaulted a schoolboy after plying him with drink has walked free from court after being given a suspended prison sentence.

Richard Cooper, 55, befriended the boy after meeting him at Lowestoft bus station and over the next few months bought him alcohol and cigarettes, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He had then invited the 14-year-old back to his flat and when the boy asked if he could watch “You've Been Framed” on television Cooper said he could if he let him touch him intimately, said Lynne Shirley, prosecuting.

Cooper, who was employed by Learn Direct in Lowestoft, admitted sexual activity with a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was given a 12 month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to attend the Thames Valley Sex Offenders' programme.

He was also banned from working with children and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order restricting his contact with children.

Cooper, of Whiting Road, Lowestoft was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders' register and to pay £2,600 costs.

Sentencing him Judge David Goodin described his behaviour as “disgraceful” and “predatory” and said that his “dark side” had brought his teaching career to a premature end.

Matthew Gowan for Cooper said his client's career as a teacher was over and he realised that he needed professional help.


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