A TEACHER who molested a teenage girl more than 25 years ago has been put behind bars.
Graham Wilcock subjected his victim to numerous sexual assaults while he was a 25-year-old teaching assistant at Emmanuel Christian School in Fleetwood.
He would later become deputy head teacher in charge of the senior school.
The attacks spanned two years in the 1980s from when the girl was 13 to 15 years old.
His victim kept the assaults secret until the 1990s when there was an inquiry into his actions and he was sacked from the school but not barred from teaching.
Last year the woman – now in her 30s – contacted police after seeing a picture of her attacker and deciding she wanted the offences brought into the open.The 50-year-old was doing charity work in Romania when he was informed detectives wanted to speak to him regarding the abuse but returned to the UK to admit his guilt.
Sentencing Wilcock at Preston Crown Court, Judge Christopher Cornwall told Wilcock: "As you worked at a church school there was an extremely unpleasant element of hypocrisy to your whole life at this time. "This is a deeply distressing case."
Hilary Banks, prosecuting, told the court how Wilcock's crimes had escalated to sexual touching but had begun with the more innocent act of putting a fatherly arm around her shoulders.
In a victim impact statement, she said she felt like she had a duty to bring it to the attention of the police as other women may be at risk.
Kevin Donnelly, defending, said Wilcock showed genuine remorse, the crimes were some time ago and there had been no re-offending.
Wilcock, who was staying in Normoss after returning from Romania, was jailed for four years, placed on the sex offenders register for life and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order was made to restrict any contact with children under 16.
Emmanuel Christian was housed in the Emmanuel Church buildings on Lofthouse Way from 1979 but moved to Singleton in the 1980s before its present location on the former-Fylde Farm site at Normoss.
The school was the first in the UK to use Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), a method aimed at re-introducing Christian standards into the classroom.