A drama teacher who has admitted indecently assaulting three of his male students told police he believed “some professional lines had been crossed,” a court heard last week.
Delroy James has admitted to a string of sexual offenses including convincing two boys to let him measure their private parts and persuading one pupil to send him a picture of his penis.
He also showed pornography to two 15-year-old boys and instructed one boy to expose himself and demonstrate how to put on a condom.
Details of 33-year-old James’s behavior emerged during a sentencing hearing at Grand Court. After hearing legal submissions, Justice Charles Quin adjourned sentence until April 15 and remanded James in custody.
The teacher has admitted one count of gross indecency, three counts of indecent assault of a male and one of possession of an indecent photograph of a child. Justice Charles Quin indicated he will pass sentence on April 15.
Crown counsel Toyin Salako said James had abused his position of trust to groom his three 15-year-old victims, using Facebook on some occasions to initiate inappropriate conversations.
She said he had shown a “degree of remorse” through his guilty pleas but had, in police interviews, attempted to justify his behavior and put some of the blame on the children.
When he was first interviewed about the offenses, he told police, that in talking to the children about personal matters, “some professional lines had been crossed.”
In relation to showing pornography to the children, he told police, a different approach could have been taken.
Outlining the details of the offenses, Ms. Salako said James had shown pornography to one of the pupils, referred to as Child A, and tried to talk to him about sex, telling him “I’m just teaching you.” She said he had convinced the boy to expose himself and then measured his penis.
She said James acknowledged he had also shown pornographic material to another boy, Child B, on several occasions, measuring his penis and convincing him to expose himself and demonstrate how to put on a condom.
She said the boy had looked up to James, referring to him in interviews as his “best friend” and the person he would go to with problems. She said James had abused his trust and persuaded him to send him a digital image of his penis to his phone.
In victim impact statements, extracts of which were read to the court, two of the boys said they felt stupid and embarrassed over what had happened.
“I don’t seem to trust no teachers or adults any more. Mr. James should not be allowed to do this again to anyone else,” one of the boys said in his statement.
Attorney Nicholas Dixey, acting for James, said the offenses, while serious, were at the lower end of the scale in comparison with other cases of indecent assault, under review by the judge as part of the sentencing process. He acknowledged a jail sentence was likely, suggesting it should not be higher than two years.
He said his client was “broken and contrite” and had suffered depression in the aftermath of the incidents.
Mr. Dixey said James was dealing with “inner demons” and was a religious man who was genuinely remorseful.
He told the court that James had been initially fearful of how he would be treated in prison but had won the respect of his fellow inmates and was involved in different courses at the prison. He said James’s career as a teacher was over as a result of what he had done.
“He is a hard-working, well-qualified young man and his life is ruined as a result of his actions,” he said.
“He has these inner demons and he should have confronted them in a responsible way rather than taking the opportunity to play out these scenarios and breach their trust in the way that he did.”