Ex-Alfreton teacher who filmed girls is jailed

Nottingham Crown court. Russel Singleton.
Nottingham Crown court. Russel Singleton.

A former Alfreton Grange Arts College teacher who secretly filmed teenage girls using a bathroom has been jailed for three years.

Russell Singleton admitted 21 offences of indecency against ten females – eight of them aged between 13 and 17 - over a period of nearly a decade.

Last month Singleton, 57, of Lawn Close, Heanor, admitted seven charges of sexual activity when he was in a position of trust; nine of taking indecent photographs; two of making indecent photographs and three charges of voyeurism where he had recorded females for his own sexual gratification.

Singleton was a music and drama teacher at at the school, previously Mortimer Wilson Secondary School, where he worked for 35 years.

Nottingham Crown Court heard he was arrested when a teenager reported him for sexual offences involving physical contact.

At his home police found 24 video tapes which showed the girls using the bathroom and the shower, from which he made around 300 still images.

The court heard on Monday, April 22, that Singleton took advantage of remodelling work which created a cavity space in between an airing cupboard and the bathroom at his home.

There he installed a camera and removed the backing from a mirror to create a two-way mirror, which he used to spy on his victims using the bathroom.

The motion-sensitive camera was operated remotely and on at least one occasion by Singleton himself.

Sentencing him to 38 months, Judge Michael Stokes QC said: “He breached his duty of trust.”

The court heard impact statements in which his victims described how they felt ‘disgusted’, ‘betrayed’, ‘violated’ and ‘sickened’ when they learned what had happened.

The judge told Singleton that the impact of the crimes has been considerable on the victims, who were “disgusted by your behaviour” .

The judge said: “Teaching is an honourable, indeed a noble profession. It comes with certain obligations - one of which is to behave in an honourable and professional way and not take advantage of young minds and young bodies.

“You are not predatory in the ordinary sense of the word. These offences arose through a breach of trust.”

Mark Watson, defending Singleton, said: “He behaved for the vast majority of his 35-year career as a professional of the highest quality and someone who has given the greatest opportunities to the students he taught. His fall from grace has been particularly high because of the reputation he had.”

He said Singleton’s wife of 31 years was completely unaware her husband had filmed girls secretly.

Afterwards, Detective Sergeant Toby Fawcett-Greaves said: “These young girls have demonstrated exceptional courage. We are satisfied that we have achieved some justice for these victims - hopefully they can move on now.

“Regardless of custody length we are happy that Singleton will be subject to extensive and indefinite monitoring and registering under the Sex Offences Act of 2003.”