A school staff member and former Chester cricket club captain has been jailed for two years after having sex with a female student under the age of 18 in a breach of trust case.
Lee Francis Dixon, 31, was sacked from his job, lost his home and has just begun a prison sentence after admitting three breaches of trust and perverting the course of justice.
The former captain of Chester Boughton Hall Cricket club sighed and became agitated when the sentence was announced by Judge Patrick Thompson at Chester Crown Court .
Dixon, of Flail Close, Greasby, was described in court as a ‘teacher’ with pastoral responsibilities for troubled children although the defence barrister explained his role was not actually that of a teacher.
He was employed at a school which cannot be identified and neither can the victim, who was aged 17 at the time of the offences.
However, the pupil was not under his direct care when they bumped into each other at a nightclub while both were under the influence of alcohol in April 2017.
Prosecutor Kevin Jones said the victim recalled how they talked about their school, the canteen and she even called him ‘sir’. But the conversation then became ‘flirty’ and they began to kiss.
After splitting up for a short time on the night, they saw each other again and moved to a secluded area where the victim said ‘proper kissing’ took place and Dixon performed a sex act.
Text messages were exchanged that night about ‘trying to meet up again’ and outside Dixon tried to persuade her to go back to his flat but she didn’t go.
Mr Jones said the next morning the teenager received Snapchat messages from Dixon including a picture of him exposing his bare chest as well as sexual references.
About a week later they met up again after he picked her up in his car and they went back to his shared house.
The prosecutor said: “He says to her ‘When we get back to the house’, his house, he shares with other housemates, he asks her to say that they ‘met on Tinder’.”
At first housemates were going in and out of Dixon’s room as he had won a cricket competition that day but after they disappeared sex took place. After about two hours he took her home.
Contact ceased for a while and she deleted him on Snapchat. But communications resumed when she grew concerned about rumours going around school about their relationship.
Dixon told her not to worry as the speculation suggested she was having a relationship with an English teacher. They met up again when she rang him for a lift during a downpour.
Nothing happened but he texted her after that meeting. The pair then met up at his brother’s empty house, where sex took place.
The fourth charge admitted by Dixon was perverting the course of justice concerning his actions after the school and later police became involved from September 2017.
Dixon contacted the victim telling her to ‘down-play’ the incident if asked about what happened and to describe it as nothing more than ‘heavy petting’.
Mr Jones said: “During that early contact, he specifically says to her, if you’re asked about it by the school or the police, that she is not to tell them they had full sexual intercourse.”
In October he rang her from a payphone asking what information had been shared with the school and police so he could be ready for any questions at a police interview the next day.
And on November 15 he contacted her asking for an update and again on Sunday, December 3, just prior to his second police interview.
The court heard Dixon had not only captained Boughton Hall, but also the Cheshire county cricket team and had spent a lot of time coaching youngsters and helped establish a women’s team but there was no suggestion he had abused that position.
Gareth Roberts, defending, who argued in favour of rehabilitation and a suspended jail term, said: “He’s clearly highly thought of in the field in which he excelled but he stands before this court today thoroughly ashamed, embarrassed and remorseful for the way he acted.
“He realises that by virtue of his own catastrophic folly he’s changed his own life forever and he cannot blame anyone else for that.”
Judge Thompson, who gave Dixon credit for his guilty pleas and took account of 11 positive character references, said the victim had been ‘emotionally and psychologically’ affected by the episode.
He told Dixon: “Not only did you have the responsibility that comes from being a teacher at the school, your particular responsibility was being responsible for the care of the children, dealing with children who had concerns or worries and ensuring their welfare and helping them.
“It’s an important responsibility. Parents must be able to trust those responsible for the care of their children. To parents, there’s nothing more special than their children. Nothing they care about more. And the public have to have confidence in those involved in the teaching profession.”
He sentenced Dixon to 18 months for each of the three breaches of trust, to be served concurrently, and an additional six months for perverting the course of justice. On release, Dixon must sign the sex offenders’ register for a period of 10 years.