Ben Breakwell sent to prison for 17 years for assaults on young girls
Ben Breakwell taught music at the school
A 40-year-old music teacher who was employed at a school in Hammersmith has been jailed for 17 years after been found guilty of 32 sexual offences against young girls.
Ben Breakwell of Monkgate, York, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday, 2 December. He will also be on the sex offenders register for life.
Breakwell had previously was convicted on Monday, 2 August following a trial at the same court, and had been remanded in custody to await sentencing.
From 2014 until the end of 2017, Breakwell worked at the school which has not been named to protect the identity of the victims.
During trial the court heard how he had abused his position as a music teacher to engage his young pupils in sexual activity.
The 32 offences related to sexual activity with three girls whose ages ranged from 13 to 16 and taking indecent images of a fourth.
As Breakwell's offences came to light, a pattern emerged showing how he carefully groomed the girls. He had begun a full sexual relationship with two of his victims when they were aged just 13 and 14. Some of the offences were committed within the school and others at 'a nearby address'.
One of the victim’s received flattery and supportive messages from him and then during a lesson, Breakwell took advantage of their proximity to kiss her. The girl was upset and later told her friends and then her mother who confronted Breakwell who denied he had deliberately kissed her. The victim later told police that she felt guilty about what had happened as she had bought him a box of sweets as a thank you present and thought that this may have encouraged him. She was also worried that there was nothing to support her account if she decided to tell the school. For these reasons no formal complaint was made.
In September 2017, the friends of one of the other victims approached a member of school staff. They told him of their suspicion about an inappropriate relationship involving Breakwell.
The school immediately suspended him, police were alerted and an investigation began, led by specialist officers from the West Area Basic Command Unit.
Breakwell was arrested in November 2017 and a subsequent search of his computer uncovered indecent images of another victim who lived abroad. This girl was successfully identified and traced by detectives and she and her family were spoken to.
In February 2020 Breakwell was charged with multiple sexual offences. He initially denied any sexual relationship between him and any of his victims.
Detective Sergeant Ben Lawrence-Smith, who work on the investigation, said, “Breakwell is a sexual predator, who targeted vulnerable children. I am very pleased that he has been removed to a place where he can’t cause further harm to children.
“The girls who were betrayed by Breakwell were incredibly brave in coming forward. Without their courage he could not have been brought to justice.
"As a teacher he had a duty of care to the girls, but instead he betrayed their trust in order to abuse them. He manipulated and exploited them and convinced them that what was taking place was not abuse, but love.
"I understand that it can be difficult for victims of sexual offences to speak out, but keeping abuse secret only protects the abuser.
“I urge anyone who believes they are at risk from, or have been a victim of abuse, to tell someone - a parent, a carer or ideally someone in authority, but please do speak to someone.“
Value Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
December 2, 2021