Caretaker kissed schoolgirl

PUBLISHED: 12:36 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

A middle-aged school caretaker gave a 14-year-old girl pupil a French kiss in a one-off mad act, a court heard. Brian Palmer, 52, has lost his job, his good name and has been banned from working with children after he was reported to the police. At first

A middle-aged school caretaker gave a 14-year-old girl pupil a French kiss in a one-off mad act, a court heard.

Brian Palmer, 52, has lost his job, his good name and has been banned from working with children after he was reported to the police.

At first Palmer denied anything happened but when the case came to trial at Luton Crown Court he finally admitted what happened.

Palmer, of Dells Lane, Biggleswade, pleaded guilty to having sexual activity with a child between January 4 and February 28 last year.

Camilla De Silva, prosecuting, told the court that the French kiss was a "one-off" incident. When he was arrested Palmer was suspended from the school in Hitchin and banned from the premises.

Defence barrister Katherine Davey said Palmer was of previous good character. Had he admitted kissing the girl when he was first questioned by the police last year, he would have escaped with a caution and not appeared in court, she said.

Miss Davey went on: "He has brought great shame on himself. In his job he has dealt with numerous other teenage girls and has never behaved inappropriately.

"The repercussions are enormous - he has lost his job, lost his good name and must register as a sex offender. This man will not offend again and has learnt his lesson."

Judge Terence Maher told Palmer: "This was a breach of trust as you were employed as a caretaker.

"She was a pupil at the school and on one occasion you put your tongue inside her mouth. The offence did not involve any more intimate touching.

"Although the offence, which was a single incident, could lead to a prison sentence I do not think it is in the long-term interests of you and the community to send you to prison."

He placed him on a three-year community rehabilitation programme with a condition that he completes a sex offender programme. He must register as a sex offender and be the subject of a sexual offences prevention order for an indefinite period. This bans Palmer from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.

The judge said Palmer had lost his job and his good name, adding: "It was a one-off mad act and you have paid a fairly heavy penalty.

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