Acclaimed County Durham head teacher appears in court over historic sex offences involving boy

Suspended head teacher Anne Lakey who appeared in court today over alleged sex offences with boy

Accused head makes first appearance at Durham Crown Court today

First published in News
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The Northern Echo: Static HTML image by , Chief Reporter (Durham)

A HEAD teacher heralded for transforming a school’s fortunes has appeared at crown court over historic sex allegations involving a boy.

Anne Lakey stands accused of four counts of indecent assault, two of gross indecency and two charges of incitement to commit gross indecency.

All the alleged offences are said to have involved the same boy, in the Stanley area, of County Durham, between April 1988 and May 1989, when Ms Lakey was in her late 20s.

She was said to have taken part in a sexual relationship with the boy, who is now aged about 40.

Although she was working as a teacher at the time, the boy involved was not a pupil at her school.

Due to the seriousness of the allegations, the North Durham bench declined jurisdiction at a recent appearance at the magistrates’ court in Consett.

Her lawyer, Richard Copsey, told the magistrates, however, that she, “strongly denied these allegations”.

The case was sent to Durham Crown Court where Ms Lakey appeared at a preliminary hearing in the case today (Tuesday January 28).

No pleas were made during the short hearing, but dates were agreed for future listings, including a provisional trial.

Estimated to have a potential four-day duration, all parties agreed on a start date of Monday, June 23.

Judge Christopher Prince adjourned today’s hearing and bailed Ms Lakey, of Oxhill Villas, Stanley, to return for a plea hearing at the court, on Thursday, April 17.

Ms Lakey has been suspended from her role as chief executive of The Durham Federation of Schools, since December 2012.

The federation includes Fyndoune Community College, in Sacriston, named among the most improved state secondary schools in the country for each of the past three years, plus Durham Community Business College (DCBC), in Ushaw Moor, near Durham, a pioneer in the field of vocational education.

Ms Lakey, who entered teaching in 1982, became head at Deerness Valley Comprehensive School, the Ushaw Moor-based forerunner of DCBC, in 2001.

Her work won acclaim and landed her a national “trouble-shooting” role helping to turn round the performance of failing schools as part of the National Leaders of Education group, led by HM Chief Inspector of Education, Sir Michael Wilshaw.

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