A TEACHER who sniffed and tickled pupils' feet for sexual gratification has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
Martyne Airey, 51, would play a game of 'smell and tickle' with pupils at a Blackburn primary school, which involved him making the pupils take off their shoes and pick a post-it note.
He would then do to them whatever was written on the paper they picked.
The court heard how after the defendant, of Parkinson Street, Blackburn, was arrested, the police found a voice recorder in his bedroom featuring a young boy reading a story about a woman who had been kidnapped, bound, gagged and was wearing dirty socks.
An aspect of the story was the smelling of sweaty feet.
Airey's iPhone was also seized and was found to have been used to visit three websites concerned with foot fetishes.
The defendant, who had worked as a teacher for around 18 years before he was suspended, pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual assault on a child under 13.
Judge Simon Newell, sitting at Preston Crown Court, sentenced Airey to 15 months in prison suspended for two years. The defendant was also made subject to a two-year supervision order and must register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Judge Newell told him: "Whatever damage there may be, I can fully understand why any reasonable parent would feel affronted and distressed by what you, as a teacher, have done to their children.
"Parents place great trust in teachers to whom they hand over their children at 9am. They expect them to be looked after.
"It is the very essence of school teaching that you are in loco parentis.
"You abused that trust and it is a high degree of trust."
Tina Landale, defending, said her client was the carer for his elderly mother and brother.
She told the judge: "Mr Airey sits before you a man with a reputation in tatters.
"He is ashamed of himself. He is disgraced and feels a great sense of revulsion as to what has happened.
"He cannot really explain how he let himself become involved in this except to say that he enjoyed his teaching career, enjoyed the contact with the children.
"He is described as a likeable teacher who got on well with people and for some inexplicable reason, he allowed himself to start playing this so-called game with a number of children at the school."