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Sex shame teacher: I feel robbed of my adolescence, says victim
A SHAMED teacher who sexually abused three teenage pupils was jailed for four years yesterday after his starring role in a national TV advertising campaign paved the way for a prison sentence.
Married Adam Gutteridge, 38, admitted ten sex assault charges, involving three girls who attended Highcliffe School near Christchurch, where he worked as a maths teacher.
Bournemouth Crown Court heard how Gutteridge, of Earlsfield Road, London, had worked at the school between September 1, 2002 and August 31, 2007, before appearing as a superhero in a high-profile advert for Reed recruitment agency.
Prosecutor Simon Jones said one of Gutteridge’s victims had spotted him on the TV, adding: “It brought memories back and she made disclosures.”
The court heard how the 15-year-old girl had struck up a friendship with Gutteridge in an online chat room, conversing with him while struggling with her homework.
Mr Jones said: “The conversation turned sexual very quickly. He gave her a lift to her house where he cuddled her and kissed her. During their webcam chats he would ask her to show him her breasts before they first had sex – this was her first sexual experience.”
The girl told police how she had ‘hated doing it’ and had felt sick but believed Gutteridge was her boy-friend.
Gutteridge struck up an illicit liaison with his second victim during a maths lesson. Mr Jones said: “They had online conversations and she went to his house. He kept telling her what an amazing person she was.
“He asked for a birthday kiss, saying he deserved it. He continued texting her and asked her to send pictures. She sent him pictures of her in her underwear; she thought she was in love with him.”
After receiving ‘flirty’ text messages, Gutteridge’s third victim was sexually abused during a school trip. Mr Jones said Gutteridge had been drunk and the girl had asked him to leave.
The court heard how one of Gutteridge’s victims had suffered from depression. In a statement she said: “I feel robbed and cheated of my adolescence.”
Mr Jones added: “Another victim said her teenage years had been taken from her. She never had a chance to find herself, do things young girls do.”
Defending Gutteridge, Simon Kitchen said: “This will be a very hard lesson for him indeed.
“When police knocked on his door it came as something of a relief, knowing that his past would eventually catch up with him.”
Mr Kitchen added that Gutteridge had confessed to his wife, who was standing by him, and had suffered from post traumatic stress after being involved in a hostel fire in Australia.
He said: “His career in comedy, TV and as a teacher is firmly at an end and he is thoroughly ashamed.”
A member of the comedy trio The Wogans, Gutteridge also worked as a composer on a BBC Radio comedy show.
Judge Peter Johnson branded his behaviour ‘disgraceful, damaging conduct’, adding: “You betrayed the trust of your colleagues, the children’s parents and most importantly the child victims who you sexually abused. You used your reputation as a cover, or shield.
“You were regarded as being cool.”
Gutteridge was banned from working with children for life and must sign on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.