UK
24/06/2015 13:13 BST | Updated 25/06/2015 08:59 BST

Anne Lakey, Head Teacher, Jailed For Eight Years For Sex With Schoolboys As Police Appeal For Further Victims

A head teacher jailed for having sex with underage boys may have abused more children in the 1980s, police said.

Anne Lakey, from Stanley, County Durham, won national acclaim for improving schools but her successful career was sunk on Wednesday when she was described as a "dirty pervert" and jailed for eight years.

The 55-year-old was convicted on Tuesday of 13 counts of indecent assault. She took the virginity of two boys aged 13-14, and another aged 15, when she was in her late 20s, working as a history and RE teacher in Sunderland, the Teesside Crown Court heard.

anne lakey

Head teacher Anne Lakey has been jailed for eight years for having sex with schoolboys

In his statement, one of the victims branded his former teacher a "dirty pervert".

He added: "As a kid I thought it was great what was happening, but now I see it for what it was - wrong."

Another victim said: "I realise I was a victim of sexual exploitation and I feel a sense of shame that I allowed myself to be in that position."

Lakey mouthed "I love you" to her father, husband David, and daughter, who were in the public gallery, as she was led away to the cells after being sentenced.

Outside court Detective Inspector Aelf Sampson said: "Throughout the investigation we have been aware that there may be other people involved in this inquiry who may come forward as victims and we would like them to make the approach to us."

Speaking about the two victims, she said: "At the time they may have thought it was fine but over the years they have come to realise how very, very wrong it actually is and it's been very tough for them come forward and brave of them to give evidence.

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"They've seen her have a successful glittering career, they've seen her be praised by government around her position which was described as inspirational, and I think that did make it harder for them to come forward."

Lakey's success "spurred on" the first victim to make his allegation, the detective said, "seeing her be so successful and thinking 'this isn't right'".

Lakey reached the position of chief executive of the Durham Federation and was in charge of two secondary schools. She was a national leader in education and was lauded for improving pupils' exam performance.

Lakey oversaw significant change at Fyndoune Community College in Sacriston, which was failing, but was later rated as "outstanding".

And she was once named in a Department for Education pamphlet as a "visionary leader" and described as "inspiring" by Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of education.

That success ended when the younger victim sent an accusing email to the school in December 2012, which led to her being suspended and prosecuted.

The victim said that while Lakey was married to her second of three husbands, she groomed him and he was encouraged to expose her breasts during a dare game at her home.

She let him watch her bathe, and then took his virginity on the marital bed while he was still in his school uniform, the court heard.

Lakey phoned his school when he was truanting, pretended to be his mother and said he was sick. She also encouraged him to call her "mommy".

The older boy's virginity was taken in her tent at a camp in the middle of the night after she encouraged him to sneak over.

Lakey went on to have repeated sexual relations with both boys.

Judge Howard Crowson told Lakey: "You used subtle persuasion and flattery, encouraging each boy to take his first tentative sexual steps with you."

The judge agreed that during her career Lakey had been "an inspirational teacher and leader of schools", adding: "By your efforts it is clear you have improved the lives of many young people."

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But referring to the 1980s, the judge told her: "You corrupted two boys about half your age. They were naive and immature."

Tim Roberts QC, mitigating, said Lakey had received treatment for breast cancer in 2012 and would require ongoing care.

The judge added: "It will destroy the career you have worked so hard to build. You will find prison a particular hardship given the illness you have battled against."

Mr Roberts described his client's "excellent good character and her achievements in the last 25 years for the benefit of her local community and its young people".

She was anxious her cancer might return while she was in prison, away from her family, he said.