Simon Murch: Unions condemn actions of Sheffield teacher who admitted raping child
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A Sheffield union official who admitted raping a child has 'shamed' and' betrayed' thousands of union members, say former colleagues.
Simon Murch, aged 54, from Sheffield, had been a joint branch secretary of Sheffield and District NEU branch, a Sheffield Trades Union Council official, as well as a teacher at Monteney Primary School, in Parson Cross.
During a hearing at Stoke Crown Court this week, he pleaded guilty to the rape of a child aged under 13.
The child was not, and had never been, a pupil at Monteney.
Sheffield Trade Union Council has issued a statement, confirming Murch had been expelled from his union role, having previously been suspended.
They said in the statement, issued by Martin Mayer, and Bob Jeffery, secretary and president of Sheffield TUC, they were shocked and appalled that a leading member of the trade union movement in Sheffield had committed such a serious and despicable crime.
They said Simon Murch was joint secretary of a NEU branch representing thousands of teachers across the city, an elected member of the NEU National Executive Committee, and until this week a delegate to Sheffield TUC and a member of its executive committee.
They added: "He has shamed us all and betrayed the trust of thousands of union members. Sheffield TUC has always been a strong voice in opposition to violence against women and girls, including sexual violence, and has always championed gender equality, women’s rights and respect for women and children. Simon Murch by his actions has flouted those values with utter contempt.
"Our thoughts are with the victim in this case, a young child who has suffered a terrible ordeal and will now have to deal with the consequent trauma. We also feel for the girl’s family and the pain and suffering they are all going through. We hope and trust they receive the support and counselling they need.
"Simon Murch’s actions have also caused hurt to others. As a (until now) highly respected teacher of young children at Monteney Primary School, the shock and revulsion felt by the children, their parents and the teachers at the school will be huge.
"We are grateful to Staffordshire Police for their swift and efficient action in arresting Simon Murch within days of his crime being reported and bringing him to justice."