A FORMER music teacher at a Bromsgrove school has been jailed for two years after having affairs with two teenage pupils.

Richard Knight, formerly of Rainbow Hill in Worcester, groomed the pupils at Bromsgrove School before progressing to a sexual relationship, a court heard.

Judge Jeremy Baker QC, speaking at Worcester Crown Court on Friday, told Knight, 53, the two victims had “particularly vulnerable” emotional backgrounds.

Speaking to Knight, he said: “You knew that and that was why they were specifically targeted over and above other children at school."

The judge described Knight’s behaviour as “predatory” and that there was a “significant degree of planning”.

The defendant had begun the second affair after the first one ended, but had taught both pupils at the school.

Prosecutor Simon Foster said Knight had had sex with one of the victims for the first time at her own home while her parents were out on Christmas Eve.

The defendant had sex with both girls on school property as well as at his own home and in his car.

With the first victim, Judge Baker said he reassured her at the time with a “false picture” of his marriage, which he claimed was coming to an end.

The court heard that Knight was having sex with the first victim between 2008 and 2010.

The judge said that “when she left school” he “moved” his attentions to his second victim who he had sex with between 2011 and 2012.

The affairs came to light when Knight’s then-wife became suspicious and he eventually admitted it.

She did not, however, alert the police until 2017.

The second affair then came to light and Knight was arrested on February 1, 2018 where he admitted to having had sex with both girls.

In a statement read out in court, one of the victims said Knight had given her “confidence” but she could see now “he had taken advantage of the situation”.

She said she had felt “angry” but now “I feel sorry for him” – but emphasised that he “never forced me to do anything”.

“I would like him to seek help and move on from this chapter in his life,” she added.

In a statement, also read out in court, Knight said he “fell in love with both these girls”.

Sam Lansdale, defending, asked the judge to give her client a suspended sentence and said “his career is clearly at an end”.

Knight left his £55,000-a-year job at Bromsgrove School last year, and Miss Lansdale said he now earns only £17,000 as working for examining board AQA, in a role where he is not in contact with pupils.

Knight moved from Worcester in July and now lives in Lynworth Lane, Twinning, Tewkesbury.

Miss Lansdale said her client had had an isolated upbringing – the youngest of several children of strict Christian parents.

Knight accepted two charges of sexual activity with children aged between 13 and 17 when appearing at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court in October.

As well as the prison sentence, a sexual prevention order has been put in place for 10 years, preventing him from having unsupervised contact with girls under the age of 16.