Paedophile of 'the most sickening order' was able to film himself abusing girls in primary school classrooms because bosses did NOTHING despite 30 war
By JR on Monday, January 30, 2012
Behold the attitudes engendered by being a British public servant. They are an especially protected class who can be fired only under the most exceptional circumstances so they often just go through the motions of doing their jobs -- with the only important thing to them being what cake to have with their morning tea. This case was so extreme, however, that the most guilty party (the headmaster) was fired. He should have been prosecuted for criminal negligence or as an accessory after the fact
A paedophile teacher filmed himself abusing girls in the classroom after school bosses failed over 14 years to act on 30 warnings about his behaviour. Nigel Leat, 51, was described by a judge as a ‘paedophile of the most sickening order’ when he was jailed indefinitely last year for abusing five girls, some as young as six.
Yesterday a damning report showed that the primary school where he worked had catastrophically failed to protect the children in his care. Over 14 years, concerns had been raised repeatedly about Leat’s behaviour with pupils, but his conduct was never investigated. He had abused children in the school’s computer room, resource room, staff room and even during lessons with other pupils present.
Leat also regularly filmed the pupils’ harrowing ordeals using a camera provided by the school, storing hundreds of films on more than 20 memory sticks labelled with his victims’ names.
Staff at Hillside First School in Worle, Somerset, first noticed Leat selecting girls who were ‘less academically able, emotionally needy or pretty’ as his ‘favourites’ a year after he started teaching there in 1996.
His inappropriate behaviour was so well known that staff tried to prevent children likely to become his ‘star pupils’ from being put into his Year Two and Year Three classes.
In 2004, a mother claimed Leat had been taking pictures of her daughter with a mobile phone but he denied the accusation and no action was taken. Four years later, two children told staff that Leat, a married father of two, had been touching their legs and kissing one of them – causing her to be sick – and a teacher twice reported him to the head. Another member of staff saw Leat projecting an indecent image of an adult on to a wall during a lesson.
Leat was also seen lifting up and groping young girls in the playground, tickling and cuddling pupils in class and sitting on cushions with a schoolgirl while visibly aroused.
But those staff members who reported Leat’s behaviour were told they should not ‘insinuate things’ and were bullied into silence, a report said yesterday.
It was later discovered that Leat would routinely hide a camera under his desk and then summon his victims, recording the subsequent horrifying images of the abuse. In many of the videos, which are up to ten minutes in length, other children can be seen or heard in the background.
When police finally became involved, Leat first denied wrongdoing but later admitted 36 sexual offences including rape, assault and voyeurism.
Yesterday a review by the North Somerset Safeguarding Children Board concluded that his appalling crimes could have been stopped much earlier if the school had not failed to act on the warnings. Instead, out of 30 disturbing incidents noted, only 11 were mentioned to the school’s headmaster, Chris Hood, and none was passed on to an agency outside the school.
Leat was only arrested in December 2010, when a schoolgirl told her mother he abused her ‘every day apart from when the teaching assistant was in the classroom’.
Police who raided the home he shared with his wife, also a teacher, found more than 30,000 images, including 61 pictures and 21 movies at level five, the most serious level. At least 20 children were victims of Leat’s abuse or witnessed it at the school, which caters for 128 children aged between four and eight.
Three Ofsted inspections undertaken during the time Leat was abusing his students graded it as ‘good’ and a report in 2009 noted: ‘Pupils feel exceptionally safe and secure because they know that staff have their well-being at heart.’
Tony Oliver, who chaired the serious case review, said: ‘There was a failure at every level within the school.
‘There was a culture which just did not empower people to voice their concerns. It could be interpreted as a culture of bullying.’ He said the headmaster had been sacked following a disciplinary process.