Teacher from Mill Hill jailed for sexual offences against girls has sentence cut

A history teacher who was jailed for 10 years for a string of sexual offences against little girls, had his prison sentence slashed by appeal judges yesterday.

Mark Richards, of The Broadway, Mill Hill, was sentenced in January after being convicted of eight counts of indecent assault against four girls.

The 49-year-old was accused of abusing the young girls, having sexual intercourse with one aged 15 and subjecting the others to various sexual ordeals.

The girls were molested, incited into performing sexual acts upon him and encouraged to dress in school PE uniforms before being photographed.

Although complaints were made several years ago and Richards was later arrested in 2008, he was not prosecuted until last year.

But, after an appeal yesterday Mr Justice Wyn Williams, Lord Justice Elias and Sir David Clarke cut his 10-year jail term.

Mr Justice Williams said the sentencing judge had punished Richards for all the sexual conduct alleged, rather than what he was specifically charged for.

He said:”In our judgment, on any view, a very substantial sentence was called for.

“We have reached the conclusion that it is appropriate to reduce the overall sentence to some extent.”

Mr Justice Williams said it appeared the judge made a mistake.

Richard’s jail term was subsequently reduced to eight years.