A former teacher and Scout leader, jailed after two men revealed a catalogue of terrible child sex crimes over three decades, was this week told he deserves every day of his prison sentence.
David Fearnley, 61, of Northwich, was jailed for nine years and two months at Warrington Crown Court last July for 27 offences involving children and child pornography.
He appealed this week but top judges Lady Justice Sharp, Mr Justice Sweeney and Judge Stephen Kramer QC dismissed his complaints in London, saying the sentence was fully justified. Mr Justice Sweeney told the court that Fearnley's offending came to light many years after it began when he was a Scoutmaster in his 30s.
Over a period of time, he groomed a boy of 13-15 years of age for sexual activity, touching his private parts while play-fighting and exposing himself. Another victim told of horrific abuse which took place 20 years later, by which time Fearnley, of Lime venue, had become a respected school teacher at The Grange Comprehensive in Runcorn. Again, The groomed the youngster when he was aged between 12 and 15 and conned him into thinking what they were doing was normal. On frequent occasions, he had oral and full sex with the boy. “Both victims have suffered long-lasting harm as a result of the appellant's offences against them,” said the judge. When police finally came to know about the abuse, they arrested him and found images of child abuse on his computer equipment.
Lawyers for Fearnley argued that the sentence was too long, but saw their case rejected by the judges. Mr Justice Sweeney continued: “Both sets of offences involved determined grooming and a very substantial age gap. “The overall sentence imposed was well within the appropriate range, albeit high up in it. “In those circumstances, it seems to us that there is no arguable merit in the grounds advanced.” he appeal was dismissed. Fearnley had admitted seven child porn offences and numerous indecent assaults.
Verisona Law has specific experience in dealing with claims in respect of abuse committed by teachers and scoutmasters. If you were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact our specialist child abuse legal team. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.