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BEHIND BARS: Private school tutor jailed for raping teen at Aldenham School 30 years ago

 Published on: 21st July 2023   |   By: Court Reporter   |   Category: Uncategorized

**The following article contains details which readers may find disturbing**

A private school tutor who raped a teenage girl and then branded her a “dead dog” was jailed for seven years today (Friday, July 21).

Alun Pickford attacked the 18 year old who had gone to sleep in his bedroom at Aldenham School in Hertfordshire in the early 1990s.

The victim, who believed Pickford was going to sleep on a sofa in the living room, felt “paralysed” when he entered the room, put on a condom and raped her.

He further humiliated her by leaving a note in which he described her as a “dead dog” and told an acquaintance it had been like “s….…g a dead dog.”

In a victim personal statement, the woman said she had been treated with “utter contempt” by Pickford, who is now aged 54.

She went on: “The rape sucked the confidence from me and robbed me of my teenage memories. He is not only a rapist, but also a thief.

“I felt sullied and devalued by what he had done. I could do nothing to stop what happened in his flat.

“Going to the police was the best decision I could have made and I would implore anyone in my position to do the same.”

Pickford, now of Manor Fields, Bratton, Westbury, Wiltshire, appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court, having been convicted of rape. He had no previous convictions.

Defending Charlotte O’Connor said: “He has shown exemplary conduct through his life and lengthy career.

“He has worked tirelessly for the community. In the early days of the pandemic, he and his sons provided thousands of invaluable visors he created for the NHS.

“There are numerous character references and letters by family members and friends. The public gallery is full of supporters of Mr Pickford.”

She said he was a committed family man who was a very good father and husband. She said he has left his teaching post and was working as a self-employed builder.

Jailing him, Judge Lana Wood said: “At the time you had an abhorrent attitude to sexual relations. You were entitled and assumed and presumed consent on no discernible basis. You did not stop to question as to whether she wanted to consent.

“After the event you treated her with contempt with the note and boasting later about what happened to a member of her peer group.”

Pickford must indefinitely register as a sex offender on his release.

Investigating, Detective Constable Sam Hunt, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Non-Recent Sexual Offences Investigation Team, said: “I would like to commend the actions of the victim in coming forward after all this time to report what happened to her. She has shown incredible strength and determination to see this investigation through.

“Pickford’s attack on her when she was barely an adult has stayed with her all her life. I hope his conviction brings her some closure and the opportunity to move on.”

She added: “Pickford continued to work as a teacher in subsequent years. We have worked with local authority and education partners to ensure the safety of young people since the report was received.

“We take reports of serious sexual offences very seriously and will investigate them thoroughly no matter when they occurred. Specialist support is also available to victims as well.”

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