Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Sex abuse kung fu teacher jailed

A kung fu teacher who sexually assaulted two girls during anti-rape classes on Merseyside has been jailed for 18 months.

Peter Channell undressed his victims, aged nine and 11, kissed their necks and forced them to touch him at a kung fu club in Sefton.

The 60-year-old, of Handfield Road, told the girls that would "happen for real" when an "attacker struck".

He was found guilty of sexual assault at Liverpool Crown Court last month.

The court heard Channell told the girls' relatives he wanted the youngsters to come to the club for one-on-one tuition which would normally cost £250 but would teach them for free.

He arranged the sessions when no one would be there during the weekend of 8 March 2008.

He forced one girl to take off her bra and touched her chest, the court heard.

You set up the weekend in order to abuse these girls and you prepared the ground and covered your intentions in the guise of a legitimate kung-fu course
Judge John Phipps

He also tried to persuade one victim to carry out moves naked.

During the nine-day trial in November he was unanimously convicted of two counts of sexual assault and two of inciting children into sexual activity.

Defending Teresa Loftus told the court he had become a "broken man" and about 180 letters were sent in his support.

In mitigation she told the court Channell was a man of previously exemplary character who had suffered hugely because of the stress his family were under.

But Judge John Phipps rejected a plea for a suspended sentence, saying: "You sexually assaulted two young girls who were entrusted into your care.

"You set up the weekend in order to abuse these girls and you prepared the ground and covered your intentions in the guise of a legitimate kung fu course.

"You prepared the ground so assiduously.

"The club was respectable and well run, providing a valuable service.

"But there is a difference between a respectable, well-run club when everyone is there and a well-run club when the only people there are you and a little girl."

Chappell has signed the sex offenders' register and was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning him from teaching under 16s without a qualified instructor, and banned from one-to-one training sessions without supervision.

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Kung fu teacher assaulted girls
13 Nov 09 |  Merseyside

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