Former teacher jailed for raping woman after his son was arrested for sex offence

Michael Leydon was sentenced on Friday. (PA)
Michael Leydon was sentenced on Friday. (PA)

A former schoolteacher who raped his victim and later told her he was experiencing “sexual frustration” has been jailed.

Michael Leydon, 61, had denied raping her in 2014 but prosecutors relied on messages from the history teacher to his victim.

The ex-school governor said his son Christopher’s arrest for rape had placed him under stress.

Prosecutor James Dunstan said during trial that the texts were a “black and white record” which “contain a confession”.

The married father-of-three said in one text: “You said last night that I should have stopped on the night I took advantage of you against your will – believe me I wish I had.

Michael Leydon was jailed for six years. (PA)
Michael Leydon was jailed for six years. (PA)

“If I had known what I was doing I would have.

“I cannot change what happened or how you must have felt but I will do anything to try to make amends.”

Another message said he “did something disgusting as a result of drink, tablets and stress” while one read: “What I did to you was my fault, albeit I did it on a cocktail of alcohol, sexual frustration and depression.”

Leydon, of Worthing, West Sussex, said he was stressed because one of his sons, Christopher Leydon, had been arrested on suspicion of rape.

The son was jailed for seven years in 2017 after being found guilty of child sex offences, including rape.

Leydon was tried at Worcester Crown Court. (Google Maps)
Leydon was tried at Worcester Crown Court. (Google Maps)

Speaking at sentencing on Friday, Michael Leydon’s defence barrister Robert Tolhurst said Leydon had shown previous good character and the incident was an “isolated” offence.

“He respects the verdict of the jury but he continues to maintain his innocence,” Tolhurst said.

“It was clearly a terrible, terrible act but a mistake.”

Leydon, who retired from teaching in 2017, was found guilty of rape by a jury at Worcester Crown Court, but was cleared of a second rape charge, which was alleged to have taken place in the 1980s.

“In a single moment you lost leave of your senses. It is difficult to comprehend why you did that,” Judge Burbidge said, adding that Leydon’s son’s arrest put him under a “significant burden of pressure”.

The judge sentenced Leydon to to six years and six months on Friday. Leydon showed no emotion when the sentence was read out.

West Mercia Police’s Detective Constable David Hadley said: “The sentence reflects the severity of this type of crime and I hope it will offer some comfort to the victim, who has shown great courage and strength in coming forward in reporting this to us, throughout the investigation and in giving evidence in court.”

Related: Woman appeals sexual assault by multiple suspects (2017)