Groping teacher wins court appeal

A teacher, jailed for molesting a 12-year-old girl, has won an appeal against a court order which banned him from having any contact with children under 16.

Nicholas Paul Esteve was a teacher at Hailsham Community College when he groped the youngster, who was not a pupil at the school.

He was locked up for 18 months and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years at Lewes Crown Court in June after being found guilty of sexual assault and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The 36-year-old, of Rotunda Road, was also handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, of indefinite length, banning him from contact with any person under 16, without the approval and supervision of an adult.

But the order has now been changed so it only prevents him from contact with young girls, after judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court accepted there was no suggestion he is attracted to boys.

The court heard Esteve, who had no previous convictions, was arrested in May last year after the mother of his victim contacted police. He made no challenge to the length of his jail term.

Mr Justice Beatson told the court there was no suggestion of inappropriate behaviour involving boys, apart from a probation report which said he had had ‘sexualised conversations’ with both male and female children.

He said there was no evidence of any sexual attraction to boys or of any complaints being made against Esteve by a male.