A FORMER student liaison officer at Yorkshire Coast College who raped a 17-year-old girl has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Mark Frank Pearey, of Swan Hill Road, Scarborough, was told by a judge yesterday that his offending was of a “predatory nature”.
During the sentencing at Durham Crown Court Recorder Ben Nolan, QC, heard Pearey took advantage of the young student, who came to him to seek help with emotional problems.
He was said to have “groomed” the girl in predatory fashion before raping her, and on later occasions took part in inappropriate sexual relations with the girl.
The offences took place at numerous locations across Scarborough including at Yorkshire Coast College, in a hotel bedroom and in a car at Oliver’s Mount, and occurred in late 2003 and January 2004.
They resulted in the girl, previously a virgin, becoming pregnant and later having a miscarriage.
In January 2004 Pearey left his post at the college, although it was not for some time that the offences came to light.
Pearey, now 37, denied charges of rape and four counts of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust.
However he was found ‘guilty’ of all five offences, the last four counts by majority 11-1 verdicts, following a three-day trial at York Crown Court last month.
Following preparation of probation reports he was sentenced yesterday by the trial judge, Recorder Nolan, who is now sitting at Durham Crown Court.
During the trial Pearey claimed the girl had a crush on him and was a “fantasist” and “psychotic”.
The court heard after Pearey left the college he later met the victim in a nightclub and the pair formed a consensual relationship which broke up in 2007.
Pearey’s barrister, Geraldine Kelly, told yesterday’s sentencing hearing that although he had not changed his account, which, “does not do him any favours”, he was considered a “low risk” of further offending.
She said he was highly regarded by staff at the college and there has been no suggestion of any further offending since moving to his subsequent job with North Yorkshire County Council, monitoring children’s working hours.
Ms Kelly said Pearey’s wife of two years is standing by her husband and his jail sentence would profoundly effect her as they were likely to lose their home.
Jailing Pearey, Recorder Nolan told him there was a “predatory” nature to the offending. He said; “You were in a position of trust and you abused that position quite grossly.”
Pearey was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and was made subject of an unlimited Sexual Offences’ Prevention Order, limiting his future contact to any under 18-year-old.