Bristol Teacher Labelled 'Paedophile of the Most Sickening Order'January 27, 2012
It was reported in the news yesterday that Nigel Leat, described by Judge Neil Ford as ‘a paedophile of the most sickening order,’ was jailed indefinitely last year after being convicted of abusing five girls while he was a teacher at Hillside First School in Weston-super-Mare.
Leat of Bristol admitted 36 offences including attempted rape of a child and sexual assault on children. Many of the offences were filmed by Leat himself and some of the children were as young as six years old. Police discovered over 700 indecent videos and more than 30,000 indecent photographs in his possession.
According to reports, fellow teachers had repeatedly told senior managers at the school of Leat’s behaviour up to two years before his arrest but shockingly no actions were taken. Astonishingly the school’s own records detail at least thirty incidents of Leat’s inappropriate or unprofessional conduct yet only eleven of these were recorded formally on the schools records.
In December 2010 Leat’s abuse eventually came to light after one of the victims told her parents that he had been assaulting her on a daily basis for the previous two months.
Following his arrest, the Head Teacher of the school was suspended and North Somerset Safeguarding Children Board commissioned a report into the school. The report blamed senior managers of the school for failing to notify either the governors or the local education authority of any of the concerns raised about Leat.
The specialist abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp regularly act for victims in claims such as these. The children in this case will have each until the age of 21 to issue claims at court for compensation. Primarily these claims would be against North Somerset Council as the local authority with ultimate responsibility for the school. Additionally, should Leat himself have sufficient assets, he too could be pursued as a second defendant to the claims.