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Guildford Dragon NEWS – The Guildford Dragon NEWS

Richard Cottyn

Teacher Richard Michael Cottyn has been jailed for eight years plus life on the sex offenders’ register at Guildford Crown Court yesterday (November 20) after admitting years of sexual offences against 32 teenage girls in Surrey.

Cottyn, 34 and from Sheffield, was charged with 90 offences between September, 2013 and September, 2017.

The charges were condensed into 31 indictments and Cottyn pled guilty to 27 of them at an earlier hearing.

Investigations by Surrey’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team began in September 2017 after a report from a victim.

Cottyn was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child. His laptop and mobile phone contained thousands of chat logs with several girls aged 14 to 17. Cottyn had met some of them. An indecent image of a female was also found.

He was further arrested in June 2018 for offences relating to meeting children and the indecent image offence. Officers seized another phone which contained more than 2,500 chat logs. Hundreds of indecent images of girls were on his laptop.

Detective Constable James Tibbs said: “Cottyn abused his position of authority as a teacher to target vulnerable young girls under the guise of offering them emotional support. Using extremely manipulative behaviour, he met some of his victims for a sexual purpose.

“When Cottyn’s predatory behaviour came to light we launched an investigation which uncovered the huge scale of his offending.”

Detective Inspector Martin Goodwin, the senior investigating officer, added: “That Cottyn is behind bars after pleading guilty to these horrific crimes is testament to the bravery of the victims who supported our investigation, and I would like to commend each and every one of them.

“No one should have to suffer any kind of sexual abuse. We want to reassure anyone in a similar position that if they come forward, they will be taken seriously and a full investigation will be done.”

The crimes were committed throughout Surrey. Details are withheld to protect the victims.

Cottyn pleaded guilty to:

  • One charge, adult abuse of position of trust; cause/incite sexual activity with girl;
  • One charge, sexual activity with a girl 13 to 17; adult abuse of position of trust;
  • Fifteen charges of making indecent images of children;
  • Fourteen charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity;
  • Twenty-seven charges of distribution of indecent images;
  • Three charges of attempted grooming;
  • Eight charges of taking indecent images of children;
  • One charge of engaging in sexual activity with a child;
  • Four charges of meeting with a child following grooming;
  • One charge of sexually communicating with a child; and
  • Eleven charges of distribution of indecent images specifically referring to females aged 16 and 17.

Cottyn admitted 86 of the 90 charges. The 90 charges were condensed into 31 indictments. He pleaded guilty to 27 of them.

If you’ve been the victim of a rape or sexual assault, this website offers support, advice and medical help: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/support-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault/

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