Former Doncaster teacher loses appeal over jail for indecent assaults against boys

General view of the High Court on the Strand, London.
General view of the High Court on the Strand, London.

An ex-teacher who was jailed for historic sex offences against young boys in Doncaster has lost an appeal.

Michael Butterworth was jailed for four years at Chester Crown Court in January after admitting a catalogue of indecent assaults during the 1970s and ’80s.

The 63-year-old, of Elphins Drive, Warrington, committed the offences against four young boys while he was working as a secondary school English teacher and a youth worker during that period.

He had previously been jailed for five years for similar crimes against three other victims, which took place in the 1980s and ’90s.

Butterworth challenged his most recent sentence at London’s Criminal Appeal Court at the Royal Courts of Justice.

His lawyers argued that he should not have been sent back to prison.

They said that, had his crimes all been dealt with back in 2011, when he was jailed the first time, he would not have received much more than five years in total – instead of the nine he was actually handed.

But his appeal was dismissed by three of the country’s most senior judges, who said that he had the chance to come clean about all of his offending, but he had chosen not to.

The court heard Butterworth was an English teacher at a secondary school in Doncaster, a youth club leader in Mexborough and a youth worker at an adventure playground in the 1970s and ’80s when the offences were committed.

During that period he molested four young boys.

They were aged between 10 and 15 at the time of the abuse.

He admitted eight counts of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

In April 2011, Butterworth was jailed for five years at Chester Crown Court after being found guilty of 12 similar offences which were committed against three other young boys in the 1980s and ’90s.

At that time, his earlier crimes were not known about and he did not confess to them.

He also denied any wrongdoing in 2012, when he was first interviewed by police in relation to some of the older allegations.

Dismissing his appeal, Mr Justice King, sitting with Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Males, said: “He had the opportunity to admit the other offences and ask for them to be taken into consideration when he was sentenced in 2011, but he chose not to.”