A primary school teacher who sniffed and tickled children’s feet to get a kick walked free from court with a suspended sentence.
Martyne Airey, 51, made children play a game of ‘sniff and tickle’ where they had to take their shoes off and pick a card from a deck.
The court heard that depending on which card was picked he would then smell or tickle their soles, getting a sexual thrill out of sniffing sweaty feet in particular.
After Airey was arrested, 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.
Airey, 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 at Preston Crown Court.
Placing Airey on a two-year supervision order, Judge Newell said: ‘I can fully understand why any reasonable parent would feel affronted and distressed by what you, a teacher, have done to their children.
‘Parents place great trust in teachers. They expect them to be looked after.
‘You abused that trust and it is a high degree of trust.’
In Airey’s defence, Tina Landale said her client was the carer for his elderly mother and brother.
‘Mr Airey sits before you a man with a reputation in tatters,’ she said.
‘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.