Page last updated at 12:32 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 13:32 UK

Teacher jailed for rape of girl

Neil Challis
Challis' crimes were described as "despicable"

A former Derby supply teacher has been jailed for at least seven years for raping a five-year-old girl.

Neil Challis, 35, from Old Chester Road in Chester Green, admitted repeatedly raping the girl.

He also admitted using a camera to secretly photograph young girls he taught in Derby and Derbyshire.

At Derby Crown Court Judge Rosalind Bush described Challis' crimes as "despicable" and said he would not be eligible for parole for seven years.

The mother of his victim said: "We have got to go home and tell her. I just hope she can get on with her life now."

There was nowhere in her life where she was safe from you
Judge Rosalind Bush

The victim's father said: "He didn't show any remorse. He's a despicable creature."

Challis taught in 13 different schools across Derbyshire - mainly as a supply teacher.

He was arrested in January after his rape victim, who was not one of his pupils, told her parents.

After his arrest he admitted six charges of rape and four charges of indecently assaulting a child.

'Evil' paedophile

He also pleaded guilty to charges of taking indecent pictures of a child and the possession of more than 1,000 indecent images of children.

Derby Crown Court heard he first abused the girl when she was five and this continued for four years.

Sentencing Challis, Judge Bush told him: "There was nowhere in her life where she was safe from you.

"You were everywhere and abusing her everywhere, in her home, in your home."

Det Insp Mark Knibbs of Derbyshire Police said: "He has made everybody believe he is Mr Nice Guy when he isn't.

"He is an evil, predatory paedophile that deserves to be locked up for quite some time."

He passed through the routine checks to work as a supply teacher in schools across Derbyshire as he had no convictions at the time.

The judge imposed an indeterminate sentence for public protection, adding: "I find that there's a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm caused by you, of committing such offences in the future."

Challis was also banned from working with children for life.

Teacher admits attacks on girl, 5
20 Jun 08 |  Derbyshire

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