Female deputy headteacher and school safeguarding officer admits 18 child sex abuse offences as court hears about 'sordid secret' with her husband

Julie Morris, 44, admitted 18 child sexual abuse charges.
Julie Morris, 44, admitted 18 child sexual abuse charges.

Ms Morris and her partner David Morris were arrested after appearing to evade police efforts to apprehend them, according to the prosecutor

Published Last updated

A deputy headteacher has admitted 18 child sexual abuse offences, including two counts of rape.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Julie Morris, 44, the safeguarding lead at St George’s Central C of E Primary School in Wigan, and partner David Morris filmed themselves abusing and raping the victim, a girl under the age of 13, in a series of videos.

At the hearing on Wednesday, Julie Morris, wearing glasses, a facemask and a cream cable knit jumper, entered guilty pleas to two counts of rape, nine of inciting child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity and two of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

She also admitted three counts of taking indecent images of a child, one of engaging in sexual communication with a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.

The teacher and David Morris, 52, who pleaded guilty to 34 offences at an earlier hearing, are due to be sentenced on Wednesday afternoon.

The court heard the videos showed Julie Morris giggling as the abuse took place.

The offences are not related to Julie Morris’s employment at the school in Wigan.

John Wyn Williams, prosecuting, said the couple met on dating app Plenty of Fish in 2016 after both had separated from their partners and the relationship “quickly became intensely sexual”.

He said: “The communication between them became graphic and depraved which led to some of their sexual fantasies becoming a reality.”

Mr Wyn Williams said the couple’s “sordid secret” was revealed when police found a conversation about sexual abuse of children involving David Morris in a phone seized during a search warrant.

He was arrested but cautioned and released and a number of devices were seized, which showed the recordings of rape and sexual abuse, the court heard.

Mr Wyn Williams said both defendants were arrested the following day as they appeared to be trying to evade police.

He said: “They were on their way to the Lake District in a camper van with £10,000 in their possession.”

As well as videos and images on David Morris’s phone, officers trawled through 175,000 pages of messages between the couple, revealing sexually explicit communications.

The pair also set up a group chat with the victim in which they would talk about how they would abuse her, the court heard.

David Morris, of Sandfield Road, Eccleston, St Helens, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to seven counts of rape, 13 counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, two counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, taking indecent images, of categories A, B and C, possessing and distributing indecent images, two counts of engaging in sexual communications with a child, three counts of voyeurism, possession of an extreme pornographic image and possession of a prohibited image of a child.