April 2013

Riding school teacher jailed

A riding school teacher from Coventry who engaged in a series of sex acts with a 13-year-old boy has been jailed for three years.

Simon McDonald, of Ashwood Avenue, Radford, Coventry, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of sexual activity with the boy.

The 21-year-old also admitted two further charges of causing or inciting the 13-year-old to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecutor Vicki Lofrese said the offences only came to light earlier this year.

It was alleged the young boy had been “bullied into submission” to take part in sexual activities, but McDonald entered his guilty pleas on the basis that, although underage, the boy was a willing participant.

After hearing evidence, Judge James Pyke said he was “not satisfied” McDonald had subjected the boy to violence and threats.

But he added: “However, sentencing policy must be designed to protect young men, such as the boy in this case, from themselves.”

During the hearing the victim said he had first met McDonald at the Warwickshire riding stables where he worked, and had some lessons from him.

He said: “It started with him kissing me and touching me, but then it got worse. I was quite confused, scared and ashamed as well.”

He said the incidents happened when he was taken back to McDonald’s home and at stables where McDonald kept his horses.

Jailing McDonald and ordering him to register as a sex offender for life, Judge Pyke told him: “The boy in question was only 13. There was an appreciable age gap between his age and yours, and the offences were repeated on a systematic basis.”

The judge also made a sexual offences prevention order, banning McDonald from having any unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16 for five years.