I was groomed by my teacher aged 11 after he offered to ‘teach me how to kiss’

By Amy Nickell
July 1, 2019

Rachel was hiding her secret for 25 years

Graham Wilcock was 'unrecognisable' in court according to his victim

Rachel's teacher kissed her when she was just 11 years old

Initially the attention made Rachel feel special

Graham was abused by his teacher

CATCHING Graham Wilcock's eye across the school playground, 11-year-old Rachel Rounds smiled shyly and blushed.

However this wasn't an innocent childhood romance - perverted Graham was Rachel's 28-year-old teacher, and he would go on to abuse the teen over three years.

Rachel says: "You think you're grown up and as a teenager you know everything but you realise you don't and you are still a child.

"That makes what Graham did worse because it's taking away somebody's innocence, and that's what he did to me."

Sadly, she's not alone. In the last five years in the UK over 200 teachers have been struck off as a result of sexual misconduct with students.

Groomed and sexually abused, married mum-of-one Rachel, now 43, kept her personal ordeal secret for 25 years.

Ahead of a new Channel 5 documentary which airs on Monday called Teacher’s Pet, Rachel, from Wiltshire, has bravely spoken out about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her school’s deputy headteacher...

'Let me teach you how to kiss'

The abuse began when 11-year-old Rachel was grieving the sudden loss of her 48-year-old father after an epileptic seizure.

Graham Wilcock, then 28, invited year seven student Rachel into his office, offering her a shoulder to cry on.

But rather than supporting her in her grief in a professional manner, Rachel says things quickly turned sexual.

"He kissed me and said ‘You don’t know how to kiss, do you?’, let me teach you and kissed me in a mouth open, adult way,” she says.

Initially, Rachel was flattered by the attention, and began going to his classroom after school and spending hours in his company.

“I felt special… but part of me knew it was wrong even then and I didn’t tell anyone. I wanted to almost show off to a friend but I kept it a secret,” she says.

'He took away my innocence'

When Rachel was 13, Wilcock lured her to his home for sex while his wife was out at work.

“He totally took away my innocence,” Rachel says. “The notion of a male teacher inviting a pupil to his house sounds incredibly suspicious in today’s society, but during the Eighties no one gave much thought to predatory paedophiles."

The abuse - which lasted for three years - was also emotional.

Wilcock began to berate Rachel’s weight – and she developed an eating disorder.

She says: “While privately he would tell me that he loved me, in public he’d bully me - calling me fat and ugly in front of other pupils."

'Like a kid in a candy store' 

By the time she was 16, Rachel had been abused by Graham for three years.

Rachel says: "I really began to see what was happening between me and Graham was not normal. I just wanted to get away."

Finally, when Rachel left school she was finally able to escape his clutches, and went on to lead a normal life, working as a broadcaster.

However, a few years later, Rachel saw a post on Facebook that said Graham was now working in a Romanian orphanage.

She says: “Someone posted something like: ‘It’s like putting a kid in a candy store’, and it’s only then I realised I wasn’t the only one he'd abused.”

Battling with the strong emotions that the shock news threw up, Rachel attempted to overdose and take her own life.

However, she instantly regretted her decision and was rushed to hospital, spending four days in intensive care.

She says: "I just thought, I'm not going to let him take me down. He'd already screwed up enough of my life, I wasn't going to let [him] ruin the rest of it."

A 'deeply distressing' case

Shortly after, Rachel summoned up the courage and reported Wilcock to the police.

He came back to the UK and was arrested, before being charged and pleading guilty to six counts of indecent assault.

Seeing him in court for the first time in years, Rachel says: “I didn’t recognise the man standing in front of me in court.

“I was actually looking at someone else and then my mum pointed at him. I saw he was biting his nails. I was shocked. I remember him having blonde hair, he was good looking, charismatic. It jolted me.

"He had aged and looked like just the saddest middle-aged man.”

Wilcock was sentenced to four years in prison - the maximum allowed under the law at the time the abuse took place - and put on the sex offenders register for life.

The judge called the case, "deeply distressing".

Plied with alcohol and abused

While Rachel's case seemingly ended with justice being served, the same cannot be said for all victims of childhood abuse.

Writer Graham Cavey, now 52, who also features on the show, was 14 when his priest took him under his wing, taking him on special school trips to the local cinema and theatres.

Graham says the priest plied Graham with alcohol.

He says: “He got me a job working behind a bar illegally when I was 14. I got drunk and the details become blurry – but he took me back to his home he shared with other priests and that was where he sexually abused me.

"Afterwards he said one word, ‘Sorry’ before throwing a towel, telling me to clean up before he drove me home.

“I felt sick, confused, disembodied – strangely disassociated with what was going on, but I knew something fundamental had shifted and things would never be the same again.”

Graham feared telling his parents, especially knowing what high esteem they held the priest in.

The abuse came to an end when Graham was 15 and taken on a school trip to Greece where he confronted his abuser.

He says: “I repeatedly told him I hated him and that was the end of the sexual abuse. He told me I was evil.”

However, the abuse had left its mark and for a period of time he suffered with alcohol addiction and ended up in rehab.

He reported the abuse to the church but no legal action was taken.

Graham says: "He admitted it but responded with 'it takes two to tango'. I was 14. There was never any acknowledgement from the church or the school. Justice was not served.”


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