January 2018: Paedophile teacher who abused a 14-year-old fails in bid to have his prison sentence reduced
Paedophile teacher from Croydon jailed for sex offences against 5 schoolgirls
A former maths teacher from Croydon who sent explicit messages and engaged in oral sex with a 13-year-old has been jailed after being convicted of a string of child sex offences.
The offences which occurred between April 2013 and November 2015 involved five schoolgirls aged between 13 and 16 who he sent explicit messages to and groomed online.
In the case of one girl, he met her twice in wooded areas of New Addington and Goldalming, in Surrey, where she performed a sex act on him twice on each occasion.
The 32-year-old, of Wallington Road in Waddon, was arrested in November 2015 after sending messages online to a girl aged 16 who he offered to pay £30 to in return for a sexual act.
He appeared at Guildford Crown Court today (Monday, February 13) and was sentenced to eight years and 10 months in prison with a three-year extended licence on his release.
Five girls in total fell victim to Gander and his string of offences dated back to September 2013 when he started messaging a 13-year-old online, later moving to a messaging service called Kick Messaging.
Prosecutor Anthony Prosser said: “At first she told him she was 15. He asked her about her sexual experiences and they had role play conversations.
“On September 15, 2013 the defendant met with the girl at Goldalming train station, they walked to a wooded area behind Godalming Library.”
After getting her to perform a sex act on him twice in the woods that day the girl sent a text to her friends to say she had done “the stupidest thing ever”.
However, she agreed to meet him again and they met in Croydon at some point during April in 2014.
Having met outside the WHSmith at East Croydon station, they walked together while he tried to book a hotel room.
When he couldn’t they got on a tram to New Addington where they walked to some woods where she performed a sex act on him twice.
Mr Prosser explained that when police obtained a warrant to search Gander’s home they found records of conversations with schoolgirls on a computer.
One of these conversations with a girl aged 15 had taken place between April 30, 2013 and August 26, 2013 and Gander had told her he was 23.
Gander asked her: “Are you well developed in your body?”
He talked about them going to the cinema together and asked her if she would wear a tight shirt.
Gander added that they could “cuddle up in the back of the cinema while I feel your t**s through your top”.
He also asked her questions about oral sex to which she replied “not for a while sweetie, I’m only 15.”
Gander and this girl never ended up meeting.
An online conversation with a third girl, aged 15, took place in November 2013, in which Gander instructed her to “lift up her nightie” and penetrate her genitals with her finger whilst he watched online.
Between June 2014 and July 2014 a fourth girl aged 14 was also messaged by Gander. He sent her a message which read: “When you’re 16, I could take you anywhere.”
During September 2015 and November 2015 online messages were sent between him and a fifth girl aged 16 at the time.
Gander offered the girl £30 in return for a sexual act to which she replied: “Hold up, no that’s prostitution.”
On December 21, 2016 Gander pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual activity with a child, three counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of causing/inciting the sexual exploitation of a child aged 13 to 17.
When sentencing, Judge Jonathan Black said that Gander had tried to persuade the girl who he met to cover for him.
He said: “Having seen pictures of the girl in question (the first girl) it would have been obvious to you as a teacher of children that she was not of age.
“You tried to persuade her to lie and get you out of trouble.
“She has suffered both in her relationships with her parents and at school.
“You have been assessed to present a high risk of serious harm due to the significant age disparity, lying about your age and the level of grooming over a period of time.
“As a teacher you are aware of safeguarding and you have ignored that training. You were prepared to meet [one of the girls] even though you were aware of her age.
“You pose a significant risk to female children.”
Gander was also given a sexual harm prevention order, a breach of which could result in an additional five years in prison.
Under this order he is prohibited from doing a number of things including deleting his computer history, buying or downloading evidence elimination software or activating encryption software.
He is also banned from communicating with or being in his flat or vehicle with a child under the age of 16 unless accompanied by an adult who is aware of the order.
Gander was also ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.