Former Northgate High School teacher Bruce Karwoski jailed 32 months for sex with two pupils

Bruce Karwoski.

Bruce Karwoski. - Credit: Archant

A disgraced former teacher at Ipswich’s Northgate High School who had sex with two teenage pupils has been jailed for 32 months.

Bruce Karwoski

Bruce Karwoski - Credit: Archant

Bruce Karwoski, who taught physics and chemistry, touched one of the girls intimately in a classroom and also took a blanket when he drove her to a wooded area during lunch breaks, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The girl told police she had sexual contact with Karwoski during free periods, after school as well as during lunch breaks and had worn dresses and skirts to “make it easier”, said Edward Renvoize, prosecuting.

Karwoski had also indecently exposed himself to her on a webcam and had asked her to undress.

He also sent her a story in an email describing what he was doing to her and what she was doing to him.

When the girl, who lost her virginity to Karwoski, tried to end the relationship he had cried and she had agreed to meet up with him, said Mr Renvoize.

At one stage a lab technician at the school spoke to a senior member of staff after noticing Karwoski and the girl were spending time alone in a closed, unlit classroom.

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Karwoski was spoken to but no further action was taken, said Mr Renvoize.

Karwoski had initially exchanged emails with the second girl in which they discussed schoolwork and problems he was having at the time.

The messages had become sexual and Karwoski had arranged to meet the girl in a field near Westerfield.

He initially asked to kiss her and this had progressed during their meetings to intimate touching and sexual intercourse in the back of his car.

The girl had eventually ended the relationship.

The offences came to light last year after one of the girls contacted the other girl and asked her what had happened between her and Karwoski.

After it emerged they had both had sexual relationships with him one of them contacted the school about what had happened.

Karwoski, 53, of All Saints Road, Creeting St Mary, near Needham Market, pleaded guilty to 13 offences of sexual activity with a girl under the age of 18 while in a position of trust.

The charges date back a number of years, but the dates, as well as the ages of the girls cannot be published to protect their anonymity.

Sentencing Karwoski, Judge Rupert Overbury described what he had done as a “gross abuse of trust”.

“You owed a significant duty of care to the victims, their families and the school,” he said.

“I have no hesitation in determining that a sentence of immediate custody is necessary and proportionate because of the circumstances of the case and as a deterrent to others in a similar position of trust,” he said.

He accused Karwoski of “crossing the boundary of acceptable behaviour” and said he had groomed the girls for the purpose of having a sexual relationship with them.

“You have accepted what you did was wrong and should never have happened,” said the judge.

He said there had been a significant amount of planning and had involved the use of encryption software to prevent the contents of emails between him and one of the girls being read.

There had also been a significant difference in the age of Karwoski and his victims.

In addition to jailing Karwoski Judge Overbury ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Nicola May, for Karwoski, said her client accepted his behaviour was completely unacceptable and had caused upset and distress to the girls involved.

“He should have known better,” said Miss May.

She said the offences had happened during a difficult period in his personal life and she accepted that Karwoski would never work with children again.

She said his wife, who is also a teacher at Northgate, had attended court hearings with him

Miss May said Karwoski had been a teacher since 1989 and held a “high reputation” within the school.

She said aspects of his work had resulted in an outstanding Ofsted rating.

Miss May said Karwoski didn’t have an attraction for teenage girls and hadn’t had age inappropriate relationships before.

Following Karwoski’s sentencing David Hutton, headteacher of Northgate High School, said: “On behalf of the school I apologise to the two young women affected and commend their courage in bringing allegations forward, acknowledging how distressing having to cope with such a situation must have been.

“On receipt of the original allegation the school took immediate steps to make the Local Authority Designated Officer and police aware.

“All advice and procedures were subsequently followed and we have co-operated fully with the police throughout their investigation.

“We have no reason to believe any current pupils are affected.

“However, the school takes safeguarding very seriously and is committed to being a safe place for all.

“We continuously strive to reinforce an atmosphere where those in our care feel able and safe to talk about any worries, with staff who listen carefully and take concerns seriously.”

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