Teachers who should never have been around children

Left to right: Antony Phillips, Rebecca Joynes and Charles Ellis
-Credit: (Image: UGC)

Teachers are trusted with children every single day - however some abuse this in the most awful ways.

These are just some of the educators in Merseyside who have abused their positions of power - and some of them were jailed for crimes against children.

The most recent case was of Rebecca Joynes, from Wirral, who was found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys on Friday, May 17.

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The 30-year-old faced six counts of sexual activity with a child, including two while being a person in a position of trust. A jury at Manchester Crown Court found her guilty on all counts.

One former headmaster was unmasked as a paedophile and in a matter of weeks "went back to his old ways". Another used Snapchat to upload a category B indecent image of a child and confessed he was "addicted" to accessing indecent material of children.

You can read more about their despicable behaviour below.

Rebecca Joynes

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GMP mugshot of Rebecca Joynes after she was found guilty of sexual offences against two pupils -Credit:GMP

Rebecca Joynes stood trial at Manchester Crown Court on charges of engaging in sexual acts with two teenage boys from a school in Greater Manchester. On the afternoon of Friday, May 17, Joynes, 30, was found guilty on six counts of sexual activity with a child after nine-and-a-half hours of jury deliberation.

The 30-year-old met the boys while she was a teacher at a school in Greater Manchester. Jurors previously heard Joynes groomed one pupil, boy A, with a Trafford Centre shopping trip, before having sex with him. She then fell pregnant by another teenager, boy B, the court heard.

Jurors heard both boys sent her flirty Snapchat messages before boy A was taken shopping, bought a £350 Gucci belt and went back to her flat on Salford Quays where they had sex, with his semen later recovered from her bedsheets by police.

Boy B said sexual activity began when he was 15 with kissing and full sex when he was 16 and while he was still a pupil. Joynes had claimed no sexual activity ever took place with boy A and a relationship developed with boy B while she was suspended from her job and only became sexual after she was dismissed and he had left school at 16, so no offence had taken place.

Joynes, of Pensby Road, Wirral, denied four counts of sexual activity with a child, and two counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust. The seven men and five women found her guilty on all counts on Friday, May 17.

She will be sentenced in July.

Antony Phillips

Antony Phillips
Antony Phillips -Credit:Facebook

Antony Phillips was unmasked as a Snapchat paedophile "addicted" to indecent images of children.

He collected thousands of photographs of child abuse over several years, even paying to download these vile materials. The 32-year-old, who also worked as a football coach, meanwhile made worrying searches for "changing room boys" online.

Liverpool Crown Court heard in August last year that he was linked via his IP address to the upload of a category B indecent image to Snapchat. Police attended Phillips' home and seized two laptops and a mobile phone.

Both of the computers were subsequently found to contain indecent images of children. This included a stash of 784 pictures in category A, those showing the most serious forms of abuse.

A further 1,052 images in Category B and 3,801 in Category C were also discovered, as were 79 computer-generated prohibited images. The "majority" of the more than 5,000 images were said to have shown "teenage boys of school age".

"Concerning search terms which indicated a predilection for young teenage boys" were found in Phillips' internet history, including one for "changing room boys". A teacher at Calday Grange Grammar School in West Kirby, Wirral, for more than seven years until January 2023, he had been amassing his "large collection" since at least 2018 - including paying for images on websites and chat rooms.

The defendant, of Bridgenorth Road in Pensby, was also a football coach who took his team on residential trips. Phillips, who has no previous convictions, made "full and frank admissions" under interview, confessing to detectives that he was "addicted to accessing this material".

But he "denied having a sexual interest in the boys he taught and coached" as he was "able to draw a veil when it came to his professional career". The pervert did however "accept sexual arousal from accessing and viewing images of children".

Phillips admitted distributing indecent images, possession of indecent images, three counts of making indecent images and possession of prohibited images of children. He was handed a nine-month imprisonment, suspended for two years by Judge Garrett Byrne, as well as being told to complete 60 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 15 days and the Horizon sex offender treatment programme.

Phillips was also told to sign the sex offenders' register. Forfeiture of the seized devices was ordered.

Robert Pearson

Robert Pearson
Robert Pearson -Credit:Merseyside Police

Robert Pearson, a former headteacher, was out of prison for a matter of weeks before he "went back to his old ways".

He claimed to be "shocked and concerned" after police found a stash of "the most depraved form" of indecent images on his mobile phone. The pensioner was convicted of sexual offences for a fourth time in December 2022, having also abused a girl at the turn of the century.

Liverpool Crown Court heard police visited the 72-year-old's flat on Park Road in Southport on August 12, 2021, after receiving "intelligence about his inappropriate internet use". He handed his phone over to officers, who discovered "gaps" in his browsing history.

Around 150 indecent images of children were subsequently discovered on the device. A total of 67 of these were graded as being in category A, those showing the most serious forms of abuse.

Some featured babies, with one being a video. A further 48 category B images, including two movies, and 45 category C pictures were also found - as was a "memo" in which Pearson had had a "chat" about his "interest" in such materials.

Under interview more than a year later following the analysis of the mobile, the granddad said he was "shocked and concerned about" what had been discovered and said he would "consider involving a forensic expert". But he later admitted possession of indecent images and three counts of making indecent images.

Pearson, of no fixed address and previously of Crosby, has three prior convictions for 50 offences. In 2003, the then 52-year-old was locked up for 66 months for distributing indecent images and sexual assault.

It came after the then head of Campion Catholic High School in Everton, which closed in 2007, was outed as a "key member of an internet paedophile ring". Pearson was found with a vile collection of 60,000 child abuse images on his computer and discovered that he had abused a young girl in the late 90s and early noughties.

He was hauled back before the courts in 2011 and handed a further 31 months for distributing indecent images again, then received three-and-a-half years in 2019 for possession of indecent images. The court heard on this occasion that he was "addicted" to viewing these pictures and videos.

Already subject to lifelong sexual harm prevention order and notification requirement. Appearing via video link to HMP Risley, Pearson was jailed for 20 months.

Charles Ellis

Charles Ellis
Charles Ellis -Credit:Crown Prosecution Service

Charles Ellis was found to be a paedophile teacher and was jailed after molesting children at a Wirral school.

Charles Ellis was jailed for three years in December 2019 after being found guilty of 10 sexual assaults on girls aged eight to nine over a period of 17 years. This led to four more victims coming forward - two of whom Ellis abused while working at a Liverpool primary school.

He was also banned from the classroom permanently in December 2023. In June 2017, the school became aware of a serious allegation in respect of his conduct, which was being investigated by the police. He was dismissed for gross misconduct a year later.

He was subsequently jailed in 2019 for three years, prompting new victims to come forward. Having pleaded not guilty to his first offences, forcing the victims and their families through the ordeal of a trial, Ellis admitted to six counts of indecent assault and five counts of sexual assault.

Judge Thomas Teague, QC, said Ellis, targeted one victim in Liverpool "under the guise of helping her with her work". He rubbed the child's legs and bottom and sometimes touched her bottom under clothing.

Ellis behaved in a similar way to a second girl in Liverpool but didn't touch her under clothing. He touched one girl at the Wirral school on her legs, lower back and bottom, again after she sought help.

He was told to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and obey a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life.

Richard Chipchase

Richard Chipchase, 55, of Welford Avenue, Prenton, pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual activity with a child
Richard Chipchase, 55, of Welford Avenue, Prenton, pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual activity with a child -Credit:Merseyside Police

Richard Chipchase was convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child in 2021. He was formerly a maths teacher at Woodchurch High School in Wirral.

He was found guilty of three counts of sexual activity with a female child under 16 and one count of attempting to cause a female child under 16 to engage in sexual activity.

Chipchase was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. He was also sentenced to 27 months in prison but served half of that time and has now been released from jail, a teacher misconduct panel was told on February 14.

Chipchase was a teacher employed at the school from 1997. A year later concerns were raised about his relationship with female pupils.

He was then provided with a mentor and received pre-disciplinary counselling. There was an investigation completed by the school and Chipchase was dismissed.

The misconduct hearing panel found Chipchase "fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession" and “there is no evidence that Chipchase has shown insight or remorse into his actions.”

The government approved a prohibition order which prevented Chipchase from becoming a teacher for life. This can be reviewed in some cases but given the "seriousness of the findings involving risk of harm to a child and the lack of remorse," this was not allowed.

He did not attend the hearing which took place last year and in emails ahead of it, Chipchase said: “I hope you are not expecting me to attend a hearing because I will not be there”, adding “I have not wanted to have anything to do with this process.”

Chipchase said he had “no intention” to become a teacher again, and had previously thought that was not possible.

According to evidence presented to the panel, Chipchase said: “The whole thing is a ridiculous waste of time”, accused them of wasting taxpayers' money, and told the panel “to just bar me from teaching and move on.”

Steven Laverty

Steven Laverty
Steven Laverty -Credit:Merseyside Police

Steven Laverty was found to be a disgraced PE teacher who had sex with a former pupil.

He was banned from teaching 10 years ago after his wrongdoing first came to light. But he only faced justice in August last year over his sickening sexual activity with the girl, whose life was said to have been "destroyed" by the abuse of trust.

A trial at Liverpool Crown Court previously heard that the now 48-year-old had sex with the ex-student during the noughties after she had left the school where he taught, but while she was still under the age of 16. Laverty falsely claimed that she had been aged 16 at the time.

Laverty, of Stuart Road in Walton, was previously banned from the profession after he was found to have "showed a failure to observe proper boundaries in relation to his professional position" in a "clear abuse of trust". But he did not face prosecution at this time as he had instructed his victim to tell investigators that she was 16 when they had sex.

This was despite a panel having found that the dad-of-two had also "grabbed a 14-year-old boy in the groin" during a PE lesson. Laverty then took a temporary job as an art teacher at a school in Greater Manchester, where "he pushed a 12-year-old pupil out of a classroom and pulled another across a floor".

Laverty was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child by a jury and cleared of a further nine counts. He was locked up for three years in August last year and told to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

Carlo Troiano

Carlo Troiano, from Wirral, moved to Spain for a new teaching job
Carlo Troiano, from Wirral, moved to Spain for a new teaching job -Credit:Facebook

Carlo Troiano groomed a 14-year-old girl in his class and told her "You are like my own Barbie."

Troiano, from Heswall, first stood trial in January 2010 where he was accused of asking a schoolgirl to perform sex acts on him. He was found not guilty of three charges of causing or enticing sexual activity with a 16-year-old pupil in a classroom at Bankfield High School in Widnes, Cheshire.

But the dad-of-two, now divorced from his ex-wife, was still dismissed from his job by governors at the school, which shut in 2014. Troiano was cleared by a jury after a four-day trial at Warrington Crown Court, who ruled after listening to the evidence that they did not believe the girl had been telling the truth.

Troiano then moved abroad and took a job at the prestigious St George’s British School of Almeria in the Spanish holiday resort of Roquetas de Mar.

He abused his position as a girl's teacher at the school in Spain, to commit “continued sexual abuse.” His two-day trial for sexually abusing a minor started on October 1, 2019, at Almeria’s Provincial Court and finished the following day.

They ruled the victim, who was 14 when Troiano began to seduce her, after being hired in August 2014, was sexually abused over a six-month period. It started in May 2016 and only ended when her mum reported him to the police.

The victim told the court he groomed her by favouring her in class, liking her Instagram photos and persuading her to get a tattoo done. She said she was in her school uniform when he offered her alcohol before kissing her for the first time.

She told the three trial judges Troiano had pressured her into continuing to see him by insisting he would quit his job and leave her class without a teacher when she told him he was “wasting his time” with her.

The victim also revealed she discovered he had filmed them having sex without her consent after finding the video on his email account. Troiano was jailed for 11 and a half years in October 2019.

He was banned from the classroom for the same time period and ordered to pay his victim €50,000 (£43,180).

Michael Cowen

Former teacher Michael Cowen asked a seven-year-old girl if she wanted to play a game and then sexually abused her.

In March 2017, Cowen, of The Paddock, Formby, pleaded not guilty to sexual assault by penetration, sexual assault and possession of an indecent image believed to be of the little girl - but was convicted after a trial.

He was cleared of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The court heard how Cowen, who was 38 at the time of the trial, 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. In a victim impact statement, the girl’s mum said she had been called into 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.”

Cowen was jailed for 12 years and handed an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

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