Teacher jailed for 16 years for rape

Tim Douglass
Tim Douglass

A former Steyning resident has been jailed for 16 years for a series of sexual offences against teenage boys.

Tim Douglass, 56, a caterer, of Upper Market Street, Hove, was sentenced to 16 years in prison, plus a further four-year extended sentence on licence, after appearing at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (January 7), Sussex Police said in a statement.

He will also be a registered sex offender for life.

Douglass, formerly of Shooting Field in Steyning, was convicted on November 30, at the same Court, of 11 sexual offences against six boys, and for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The offences included; rape and sexual assault on a 17-year old boy, rape of another 17-year old boy, two counts of sexual activity with a boy under 15; two counts of sexual assault on another young boy, two counts of sexual assault on another young boy and one count of sexual assault on another young boy.

Sussex Police said that Douglass was a volunteer teaching music at the Cuthman Centre, a community facility in Steyning, when he lived there and kept a houseboat at the River Arun at Houghton.

He was also found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice along with his partner, David Long, 21, of the same address. This was in relation to them both agreeing to give false information to police of Long’s whereabouts at the time of one of the rapes.

Long also appeared in Court on January 7, and was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work.

Douglass ran the Big Pan Paella Co, of Fort Road, Littlehampton.

Police emphasise that there are no current safeguarding issues for local young people.

Detective Constable Beccy Hopkins of West Sussex CID said; “In sentencing Douglass, Judge David Rennie described him as ‘predatory, manipulative and persistent.’ a description with which I fully agree. He systematically groomed his victims, some over considerable periods of time, without a concern for their age, vulnerability or for any distress caused to them.

“All the victims gave evidence in court, and we admired the way in which they did so. Their evidence was key to the case, and demonstrates again that we can help achieve justice for such victims however long ago the offences occurred.”

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