Simon Murch: Shocked former colleagues' anger at Sheffield teacher jailed for raping child in Stoke

Former colleagues of ex-Sheffield teacher Simon Murch, jailed for child rape, have told of their 'anger and shock'
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Former colleagues of a Sheffield primary school teacher who raped a child in Stoke have told of their shock at his actions.

Simon Murch, aged 55, who was a Sheffield NEU union official, and a teacher at Monteney Primary School in Parson Cross, and who had previously worked in the Hunters Bar area of the city, was jailed for seven and a half years at Stoke on Trent Crown Court on Thursday for raping a child under 13.

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His victim had no connection with his Sheffield schools and he had met her online, before travelling to Stoke, where the rape was committed.

Simon Murch. Picture: Staffordshire PoliceSimon Murch. Picture: Staffordshire Police
Simon Murch. Picture: Staffordshire Police

Now, Murch's former union colleagues at Sheffield Trade Union Council have voice their shock and disgust at his actions.

Murch was a former Sheffield NEU joint branch secretary and formerly one of the Sheffield Trade Union Council executive committee members.

Sheffield TUC said in a statement: "Following his sentencing at Stoke Crown Court on Thursday 15th February, as reported in the Sheffield Star, we have now learnt the appalling details of his sexual assault on a young girl back in June 2023. We feel deeply for the victim in this case, a 12 year old girl, and the hurt and trauma caused to her and her family.

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"Sheffield TUC suspended Simon Murch as soon as we knew he was charged with rape, and we expelled him the moment we learnt he had pleaded guilty to his crime.

"It is still a great shock to us all in the Sheffield trade union movement that a man we thought we knew well and trusted could be capable of such an appalling crime which goes against all the values we hold so dearly regarding respect for women and girls and opposition to all forms of physical and sexual violence and abuse."

Police arrested Murch on July 17 last year, the day after he was reported to police.

He had pleaded guilty to the offence in September last year, before his sentencing. He has been put on the sex offender’s register for life and is subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

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Steel City Schools Partnership, which runs Monteney Primary School said they had worked closely with Sheffield local authority and Staffordshire police until the conclusion of the case culminating with the sentencing at Stoke Crown Court, and stressed the victim had no link to the school.

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