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Luke Berry: Teacher from Bishop’s Stortford jailed for sexual activity and sexual communication with girls

A teacher from Bishop’s Stortford has been jailed after he engaged in sexual activity with a girl and sexual communication with a child.

Luke Berry, 35, of Riverside, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday (February 29) and was sentenced to 17 months in prison.

An investigation into Berry, who was a teacher at Joyce Frankland Academy in Newport, was launched in 2021 after Essex Police received a report of a man engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Luke Berry
Luke Berry

He was arrested in October that year. Following further enquiries, he was arrested in January 2022 on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl aged 13-17.

During the investigation, officers from Essex Police’s child abuse investigation team reviewed dozens of messages between Berry and two victims, both under 18.

He was charged with sexual communication with a child and sexual activity with a girl.

Berry pleaded guilty to both counts on Thursday February 1 this year. He appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court last Thursday. As well as the prison sentence, he was placed on the child sex offender register for life and issued with a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Det Con Ethan Beale, the investigating officer in the case, said: “Luke Berry took advantage whilst working in a position of trust.

“I commend the victims in this case for their strength throughout the investigation.

“We have worked quickly with the school in this case, who acted quickly and continued to prioritise safeguarding.”

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