Pervert in the wine circle - three years for Halifax teacher infatuated with pupils

William Drury
William Drury

Teacher and Halifax Wine Circle member William Drury is today in jail at the start of a three-year term for sexually exploiting and abusing teenage pupils.

Drury, 48, was found guilty of kissing and groping a 16-year-old girl and making indecent images of her and two other schoolgirls.

He was also convicted of encouraging her to have sex with a 17-year-old boy in his car as he drove them home from his house in Chester Road, Boothtown, Halifax.

Prosecutor Rob Mairs told Leeds Crown Court Drury had groomed the youngsters since starting his first teaching job in English and drama at their Leeds school in September 2005.

He said: “He created a culture in the drama studio for his pupils where the discussion of sexual activity, both their own and his, was commonplace. In effect, he was grooming them.”

Drury was warned about his inappropriate behaviour towards his pupils early on, including giving them lifts home and sending one girl a Valentine’s card.

But he took no notice and became particularly obsessed with the 16-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy.

He first met the girl when he was a chaperone on a school trip to Sicily, where she recalled him touching her bottom on the last night.

When they got back to school, the depressed teen began counselling sessions with Drury, who was on the chaplaincy team there.

“Drury preyed on her vulnerability. He told her he loved her and he’d never felt that way about anyone before,” said Mr Mairs.

“He likened her self-harming to his masturbation.”

The pair grew close and he encouraged her to start a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old boy.

Drury would boast to him about his sex life and ask for details of his - including photos and videos of the girl.

He also suggested joining in a threesome with the young couple.

One night as he drove them home from his house he told them they could only sit in the back together if they had sex.

The court heard he instructed them to take their clothes off and told them they looked beautiful.

Another time he tried to entice them into having sex on the drama studio stage by dimming the lights and drawing the curtains, but they refused.

Drury also kissed the girl and groped her thigh and breasts on separate occasions.

His sickening offending came to light when another pupil found a close-up photo of the girl’s chest on his laptop during a play rehearsal and reported him.

Police found a memory stick containing photos of two other teen schoolgirls, one in a bikini and one in her underwear.

They also found an erotic story Drury had written in which a teacher fantasised about making love to a “sexy” schoolgirl.

A jury found him guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity - all crimes because he was a person in a position of trust.

He was acquitted of causing the 16-year-old girl to perform a sex act on her boyfriend in a store cupboard

Drury, a married father, still denies any wrongdoing.

Tina Landale, representing him, said he had led an exemplary life until a jury convicted him of the 13 sex offences in September.

“He has had a devastating fall from grace as a result of an infatuation with two pupils,” she said.

“He has lost his career and his future.”

Drury’s wife was in court to support him as Judge James Spencer QC sentenced him.

Judge Spencer said: “From start to finish at this school you used it for your own purposes so you could exploit those children in your care.

“You eroded those boundaries and took advantage of their respect for you.”

Detective Sergeant Kirsty Walsh, of West Yorkshire Police’s child and public protection unit, said: “As a teacher, Drury had a responsibility for the welfare and safety of the young people in his care. “Instead he chose to abuse his position of trust for his own sexual gratification.

“We hope the fact he has now been brought to justice will go some way towards helping his victims and their families to deal with the trauma his selfish actions have caused them.”