Teacher’s explicit text messages to tragic teen

Anthony Stubbs, 16
Anthony Stubbs, 16

A primary school teacher is accused of sending obscene messages to a teenager later found hanged in Leyland.

Iwan Harding, 34, of Warden Street, Llanberis, Gywnedd in Wales, has denied sending grossly offensive or indecent, obscene messages to dad-of-one Anthony Stubbs, 16, in October last year.

Julie Hughes, prosecuting, told a district judge at Caernarfon that Harding believed Anthony was 17.

The court was told how Anthony vanished from home last November. He was reported missing by his mother and 18-year-old girlfriend who had discovered texts on his phone.

He was found hanged in woodland in Leyland on January 14.

Miss Hughes said: “His phone was examined and it was noted there were numerous sexually-explicit text messages from a mobile phone.”

Harding and the teenager had met on the Love Leap dating website, on which those who registered are supposed to be at least 18.

The hearing heard police uncovered a bisexual life Anthony had kept concealed.

Anthony and his girlfriend Charlotte Mason, 18, argued after she became aware from text messages he had sexual relationships with men he was meeting through a website or chat room.

One was a 47-year-old Manchester man.

The prosecution said Harding accepted to police that he probably sent the messages.

Tudur Owen, defending, said: “It’s a tragic case. There were no fixed plans for the men to meet. A lot of it is effectively fantasy.”

Judge Andrew Shaw reserved his decision until next month.

Harding was granted bail.

He is currently suspended from his job.