September 2018

Clydach head teacher Rhian DeSouza sentenced for indecent images

A primary school head teacher who made indecent photographs of a child has been given a two-year community order.

Rhiannon DeSouza, 43, who had admitted two charges, was ordered to do 25 days rehabilitation training and 200 hours unpaid work at Swansea Crown Court.

She must also sign the sex offenders register for five years and was issued with a sexual harm prevention order.

DeSouza has been suspended from her job at Ysgol Gymraeg Gellionnen in Clydach, near Swansea.

The school’s governors have written to parents assuring them the case did not relate to any current or former pupils, or at any school De Souza had taught at.

The subject of the photographs was a 16-year-old girl, who De Souza had known since she was aged 13, but was not a pupil at her school.

The court heard after the girl turned 16 they had begun a consensual sexual relationship.

However, in June the girl’s mother found out about the relationship and reported it to the police.

The court heard the girl had taken two intimate photographs of herself and sent them to De Souza, who later erased them from her phone.

Judge Paul Thomas said it was an “anomaly of the law” that De Souza could have a lawful sexual relationship with the girl and not have intimate photographs of her, but he added she should have known having them was illegal.

In a joint statement, the school and Swansea council said: “As soon as we were made aware of the investigation by police she was suspended and remains so.

“An acting head teacher is in place and support is being given to ensure there is no impact on the day to day running of the school.”

August 2018

Headteacher and married mother of two, 43 admits making child abuse images 

A female primary school head-teacher, who received flowers from parents after her suspension because they believed she was ill, is facing jail after admitting making illegal sexual images of children.

Rhian Desouza, 43, appeared in court on two counts of making an indecent photograph of a child in May and June of this year.

The 43-year-old appeared before Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on August 15 where she indicated guilty pleas to the charges.

Desouza’s case has been adjourned until September 14 as her barrister has requested a report.

Desouza is suspended from her role as head of Gellionnen primary school in Clydach, Swansea.

Swansea council said the court proceedings ‘do not relate to any pupil, past or present, at any school DeSouza has taught at’.  

Parents at her school – and another neighbouring school where she had been deputy head – were described as ‘stunned and disgusted’ at the charges. 

She was suspended in July before the end of term with parents believing she was off on sick leave.

One mum said: ‘We even sent her flowers on the day of the school prom because we all thought she was off ill.

‘It is just disgusting to think what has been going on – nobody had a clue.’

Some parents at the school have been sent letters stating that the police investigation is not directly connected to any children at the school.

But parents of the children on school holidays are outraged that it took the authorities weeks to inform them of the reasons she was away.

Another parent said: ‘If you can’t trust your kids’ own head teacher, you honestly can’t trust anyone.’

On Facebook another mum said: ‘This is just horrific – you expect your children to be safe at school! Despite rigorous DBS checking, sadly people only have a record once court. Absolutely shocking.’

The married mother-of-two has also been described as a ‘pillar of the community’.

Her husband Mike has worked as a digital photographer and owns a media company called Skaface Ltd, he is a keen runner and Desouza is involved in a local choir.

He has worked in TV and cinema as a production accounts. 

On social media he lists his credits as Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and The Mummy.

The couple were not at home today with neighbours believing they had gone away.

One said: ‘Rhian is a pillar of the community and this is a complete shock.’

She was previously deputy head at Trebanos School nearby where parents were also assured no pupils were involved in the charges.

In a joint statement, the school and Swansea council, said: ‘We would like to reassure parents that the court proceedings do not relate to any pupil, past or present, at any school the individual has taught at.

‘As soon as we were made aware of the investigation by police she was suspended and remains so.

‘An acting head teacher is in place and support is being given to ensure there is no impact on the day to day running of the school.’

Desouza, of Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, has been head of the Welsh-speaking school – formally known as Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Gellionnen – for more than five years.

It has 187 full-time pupils aged three to 11 including a nursery.

She was given bail and must report to Llanelli Police Station between noon and 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.