Sex predator teacher could face life in jail

A POPULAR teacher who taught music at a Kirkcaldy school is facing a possible life sentence after being exposed as an internet predator who pestered young boys for sex.

Andrew Kingsley (23), was caught after shocked parents discovered messages on their 12-year-old son's computer and mobile phone and went to the police.

Another mum discovered her 14-year-old son wearing a silver thong and dressing gown and sitting in front of his computer.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday, Kingsley - who worked as a probationer at St Andrew's High - pleaded guilty to a total of 31 charges alleging a variety of homosexual acts and the making and possession of indecent photos and using internet chat rooms to groom youngsters for sex.

A total of 16 youngsters were involved in Scotland and England.

The court heard how be begged youngsters in their early teens for sex and confessed to a fetish for bondage, saying he had handcuffs, rope and a blindfold.

Kingsley committed a serious sexual offence with one 15-year-old, watched on a web-cam as he persuaded others to expose themselves and engaged in oral sex with two boys.

He tried to meet others for sex but they failed to show up at meetings Kingsley arranged.

Kingsley, now of 66 Marr Street, Alloa, was a highly respected and well-liked teacher at St Andrew's High.

But after only a term there, his double life was exposed last December.

The charges he faced go back to April 2007 and mostly cover the time when he was a student at the Royal Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

Kingsley was also involved with a number of youth drama groups and gave private singing lessons at his then home in Dunfermline, the court heard.

Advocate depute Gillian Wade, prosecuting, told how police raided the house and seized computer equipment, a mobile phone and sex aids.

Computer experts uncovered about 3000 chat logs with sexual content, along with 80 indecent photos and three video clips.

Ms Wade told the court that Kingsley was respected by fellow teachers and pupils.

"He was described as being very approachable, helpful, funny and very dramatic," she said.

"According to other teachers and parents he had a good rapport with children and motivated them."

One senior teacher at the Kirkcaldy school said she regarded Kingsley as young, keen, energetic, fantastic and had a massive potential as a classroom practitioner.

"He captivated his audience and was larger than life," she added.

Ms Wade asked the court to take steps which could lead to an order for lifelong restriction.

She said: "Victim impact statements indicate there may be ongoing consequences for some of the victims."

Judge Lord Pentland said: "In the highly disturbing circumstances of the case I consider it would be quite appropriate."

The judge ordered background reports to determine the risk posed by Kingsley, who is due back in court in January.

Lord Pentland remanded him in custody until then and his name has been added to the sex offenders' register.

THE PARENT

A PARENT whose children attend St Andrew's High has spoken of her shock following Andrew Kingsley's conviction.

The mum, who doesn't want to be named, said her son got on well with the 23-year-old music teacher.

She said: "They spoke about X-Box live and the games they had in common. I'm shocked about his behaviour because he seemed so nice and appeared to love his work.

"Thankfully my son hasn't been affected, but I do sympathise with those families whose children have."

THE COUNCIL

THE EXECUTIVE director of education at Fife Council Ken Greer said: "While it is not normally our practice to discuss individuals, previously or currently working for the Council, in this case I think it is appropriate to say the whole teaching community is appalled that any individual would so completely abuse their position of trust."

He said Kingsley was a probationer who had been working at St Andrew's for four months from August to December 2009 when Fife Police alerted the Council to their investigation.

He was immediately suspended from his post and within one week was removed from the probationer scheme and from employment with the Council.

Mr Greer said Kingsley was Disclosure-checked to ensure there were no previous convictions or concerns and no issues had been raised by pupils or parents until the police began their investigation.

He added: "Our children's safety remains of paramount importance to us. Our psychological services will be available to support any pupils who may feel they would like help."

THE POLICE

DETECTIVE Superintendent Garry McEwan, head of Crime Management at Fife Police, said: "The extremely serious offences that Andrew Kingsley was prepared to commit not only serve as evidence of his utter disregard for the consequences of his actions, particularly the devastating effects he must have known his abuse would have on his young and vulnerable victims, but also highlights unsuspecting children and teenagers using the internet are at risk of being targeted by predatory sex offenders intent on grooming them for sexual purposes.

"Kingsley also chose to abuse his position of trust as a high school music teacher and was prepared to exploit his profession.

"However, I would like to stress to our communities that instances of such breaches of trust and abuse of power and responsibility remain rare."