Former Harpenden primary school teacher jailed for 138 years

A prison, through metal bars.

A former Harpenden primary school teacher has been jailed in Spain. - Credit: Matthew Ansley on Unsplash

A former Harpenden primary school teacher has been sentenced to over 138 years in a Spanish jail.

Ben Lewis, a former teacher at St Dominic Catholic Primary School, Harpenden, has been found guilty of making indecent videos of children.

The 33-year-old, originally from Borehamwood, had previously been spared jail for the same offence in the UK.

Lewis had then been given a two-year suspended sentence for making an indecent film of a nine-year-old girl, at a summer camp which he co-founded.

LL Camps, in Bushey near Watford, was later closed by Ofsted.

Mr Lewis moved to Spain in 2016, four months after this sentence was awarded, when he changed his name to Ben David Rose.

The teacher then used his new identity to hide his conviction, and gain a role at an English language school in Madrid.

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A trial was held behind closed doors earlier this month (May 2022), at the Provincial Court of Madrid, in which the judges found that the individual used his position to satisfy his sexual desires.

Ben David Rose had taken advantage of his role as a carer and English teacher of the minors of two families, one in Zaragoza and another in Madrid.

These offences were carried out between mid-2016 and 2018.

Further offences occurred when he was working as a teacher in Madrid until 2019.

He was eventually arrested on June 24, 2020, when he was remanded in custody in the Spanish capital.

A statement on Thursday (May 26) revealed Lewis' 138-year and three-month sentence, for eight crimes of child abuse, one crime against moral integrity, 32 crimes of discovery and disclosure of secrets and a crime of forgery of official documents.

The man has also been ordered to pay amounts ranging from £2,500 to £5,000 to the parents of his victims.

Judges have also imposed a probation measure for eight years, during which time Lewis must participate in sex education programmes.

It is expected that he will serve 20 years of his full sentence.