AN acclaimed headteacher accused of having sex with a 13-year-old boy in the 1980s told a jury of her shock, horror and disbelief when her accuser emailed her school with his claims.
Anne Lakey, 54, told Durham Crown Court she believed the message from the complainant was a hoax, and said that the alleged abuse had not happened.
Lakey was a teacher in Sunderland when the offences are said to have taken place – though the alleged victim was not a pupil at the school.
The married mother-of-one from Stanley, County Durham, denies four counts of indecency with a child under 14 and five counts of indecent assault against a child under 16.
The charges relate to the same boy, who was one of a group who would visit her home.
The complainant claims she seduced him in his school uniform after allowing him to watch her bathe.
He told the jury that matters progressed from a game of dare on a previous occasion when he fondled her.
He said on other occasions, as their relationship continued over a period of months, they had oral sex.
Lakey, chief executive of the Durham Federation of Schools which the jury has heard were formerly failing comprehensives in ex-mining villages and now among the most improved in the country, denies she was ever alone with him at her home.
In December 2012, he spotted her picture on the internet, read a blog about her educational beliefs and, in anger, sent a message to the school accusing her of having sex with him as a teenager.
Julie Clemitson, defending, asked how she reacted to the email.
Lakey replied: “When I was first made aware, it was just utter disbelief.
“It was not true, therefore (I was) shocked and horrified.
“My chair of governors was on site. I called him in.” She said it was a hoax, adding “it had not happened”.
The complainant claimed Lakey sometimes telephoned his school pretending to be his mother and said he was ill when he played truant to be with her.
Lakey denied it, and said she was unaware he was skipping school, explaining: “I would have said it’s not an all right thing to do.”
Caroline Goodwin, prosecuting, asked: “Why on earth would he be saying you had done these things to him?”
Lakey replied: “I don’t know why he is doing these things, if I said it would be speculation.
“I have no idea why (he) has put this allegation forward.
“When I got the email at school I was shocked, it wasn’t true.
“My instinct at the time it was (motivated by) money, but that’s speculation.”
The case was adjourned until tomorrow.