An assistant headteacher who targeted teenage girls for sex and indecent images with ‘extremely manipulative behaviour’ has been sentenced to eight years in jail.
Teacher Richard Cottyn, 36, from Sheffield, was charged with a staggering 90 offences involving more than 30 teenage girl victims.
The father-of-two appeared at Guildford Crown Court today and was sentenced to eight years in jail after a judge heard his catalogue of offences spanning four years.
He will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.
A spokesman for Surrey Police said that Cottyn had been charged with 90 separate offences relating to 32 victims. The offences took place between September 2013 and September 2017.
Teacher Richard Cottyn, 36, of Forres Avenue, Sheffield, was charged with a staggering 90 offences involving more than 30 teenage girl victims
‘The charges were subsequently condensed into 31 indictments. Cottyn pleaded guilty to 27 of these indictments at an earlier hearing.
‘An investigation by Surrey Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team began in September 2017 following a report from a victim.
‘Cottyn was subsequently arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child. Following examination of his laptop and mobile phone, it was found to contain thousands of chat logs with a number of girls between the ages of 14 and 17 years.
‘In some cases Cottyn had met some of them. An indecent image of a female was also found on the device.
‘He was further arrested in June 2018 for offences relating to meeting children and the indecent image offence. Officers seized a further phone belonging to him which contained over 2,500 chat logs. Additional material, including hundreds of indecent images of girls, were also found on his laptop.’
Guildford Crown Court, Guildford, Surrey, where Cottyn was sentenced to eight years in jail
Detective Constable James Tibbs, from Surrey Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team, said: ‘Cottyn abused his position of authority as a teacher to target vulnerable young girls under the guise of offering them emotional support.
‘Using extremely manipulative behaviour, he met some of his victims for a sexual purpose. Hundreds of indecent images, including of the girls he communicated with, were found on his various devices.
‘When Cottyn’s predatory behaviour came to light we launched an investigation which uncovered the huge scale of his offending.’
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Martin Goodwin added: ‘The fact that Cottyn is behind bars after pleading guilty to these horrific crimes is testament to the bravery of the victims who supported our investigation and I would like to commend each and every one of them.’
Detective Inspector Goodwin continued: ‘No-one should have to suffer any kind of sexual abuse – and we want to reassure anyone in a similar position that if they come forward, they will be taken seriously and a full investigation will be carried out.’