March 2017

Ex-teacher sexually abused seven-year-old

A former teacher who sexually abused a seven-year-old girl was jailed for 12 years.

Preston Crown Court was told Michael Cowen, 38, of The Paddock, Formby, asked if the girl wanted to play a game and then went on to sexually abuse her.

The girl told her mum, who reported the matter to police.

Cowen pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual assault and possession of an indecent image – believed to be of the little girl.

In a victim impact statement, the girl’s mum – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – said she had been called in to school to discuss conversations her daughter had been having with her friends.

She added: “I worry about what she has been exposed to at such a young age.”

Judge James Adkin, sentencing, told Cowen: “On that night you had become disinhibited with intoxicant.

“The evidence revealed you had an interest in indecent pornography and you allowed that disinhibition to let your sexual fantasies transfer into reality.

“She is a resilient child. She still talks about what you did but the fact she is not currently very affected by what you did is testament to the way her mother has carefully handled her disclosure and these proceedings.”

The court heard Cowen had no previous convictions, and was spoken highly of in references supplied to the court.

Judge Adkin said: “You are a man who has worked in the past and lost that work. This conviction will have serious consequences in the future.

“It is your fault you have thrown everything away because of your inability to control your desire for sexual gratification with a seven-year-old child.”

He jailed Cowen for 12 years and made an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

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