Pervert primary school teacher’s victim slams suspended sentence

Alan Birkby
Alan Birkby

A PERVERT ex-primary school teacher’s victim says it is a disgrace that his attacker did not go to prison.

The man, who can not be named for legal reasons, was one of six boys aged between seven and 11 who were abused by Alan Birkby while he was a teacher at Parkinson Lane Primary School in Halifax between 1972 and 1981.

As reported by the Courier, Birkby, 68, of Ryburn Buildings in Sowerby Bridge, was given a 16-month suspended sentence at Bradford Crown Court on Friday.

He was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order and ordered to pay £800 in costs.

He had pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent assault and three counts of indecency with a child.

But judge Colin Burn was forced to sentence Birkby according to guidelines at the time of the offending.

One of his victims branded the sentence as “ridiculous”.

“It’s just lunacy,” he said.

“I’m incredibly disappointed, frustrated and angry. I was crying when I left court.

The man said he was 10 when he was abused and was too young to speak out.

“There was no Childline or anything like that at the time,” he said. “There was nothing in the news or on TV about if people did this kind of thing that you were to tell someone.

“I was just a little boy at the time.”

He says the abuse led to him failing his 11 plus exam and consequently him going off the rails as a teenager, eventually being arrested and spending a year in prison.

It was not until his 20s that he was able to turn his life around, but he still kept his horrifying secret to himself.

It was only when he heard that someone else had contacted the police about Birkby that he was able to tell someone.

“I didn’t tell a soul until 2010,” he said. “All my life I hoped that one day there would an opportunity to tell someone. I knew one day someone else would come forward and give me the opportunity to talk to someone.

“That day, I told my wife. She was the first person I’d told about it in 30 years.

“It was quite a relief to tell someone. Then I told my father, he was extremely angry.”

The man said he was elated when Birkby pleaded guilty to the charges but the sentence has left him furious.

“Everyone who has come forward to say what Birkby did to them has done a very brave thing,” he said.

“The police did a fantastic job, they worked so hard for two and a half years and did everything they could.

“This situation should be changed, it beggars belief.”