Teacher jailed for sex abuse of his pupils
A former teacher who went on to star in a national TV advert has been jailed for sexually abusing three teenage pupils.
Adam Gutteridge appeared before Bournemouth Crown Court, where he was sentenced to four years after pleading guilty to 10 sex charges at an earlier hearing.
The 38-year-old, of Earlsfield Road, Earlsfield, London, was teaching at a school in Dorset – which can not be named for legal reasons – when the offences took place. He later moved to London and starred in a prime time TV advert.
Sentencing Gutteridge, Judge Peter Johnson said: “You betrayed the trust of your colleagues, parents and most of all the three girls you abused.”
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Gutteridge, who worked at the school from September 2002 to August 2007, groomed two of the girls using an internal messaging system at the school, with the pretence of helping them with studies.
Simon Jones, prosecuting, said the messages quickly turned sexual.
The court heard their relationship started with cuddling and kissing, but progressed through to full intercourse, with the girl visiting his house on almost a daily basis.
Mr Jones said: “She told police how she hated doing it and it made her feel sick.” Gutteridge’s relationship with his third victim started in a similar fashion.
On one occasion he asked her for a kiss and told her that it was his birthday and that he “deserved it” while he stroked her leg. He also asked her to send him photographs of herself, telling her that was what a normal girlfriend would do. As such, she sent photos of her in her underwear.
It was not until one of the victims saw Gutteridge appearing on a television advert for a recruitment agency that she came forward to police.
Gutteridge pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual activity with a child, two of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two of sexual activity with a child being a person in a position of trust. Gutteridge had also pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child, which the crown accepted.
Simon Kitchen, representing Gutteridge, said “When the police knocked on his door, it came as something of a relief to the defendant.”
“He comes to court today thoroughly ashamed and thoroughly contrite,” he added.
Mr Kitchen told the court his client knows there is “no real excuse”, but said he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following his involvement in the Childers hostel fire in Australia in 2000.
The court heard Gutteridge had rescued several backpackers from the blaze, which killed 15 people, and was hailed as a hero at the time.
After moving to London, Gutteridge went on to join the comedy trio The Wogans with some success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on BBC radio before appearing in the television advert for Reed.co.uk.