The ex-husband of a headteacher accused of seducing two under age boys in the 1980s felt “pushed aside” as their brief marriage collapsed, a court heard today.
Anne Lakey did not have sex with her then-husband Eamonn Toland for the last 18 months of their two-year marriage, Teesside Crown Court was told.
For the last 18 months we didn’t have sex. I knew things were not right and she didn’t want anything to do with me. I was hurt, as I loved her. I was totally besotted with her.Eamonn Toland, ex-husband
The 55-year-old, from Stanley, County Durham, has been described as a “sexual predator” by the prosecution.
She denies six counts of indecent assault on a boy aged 13 or 14 and another seven counts of indecent assault on an alleged victim who was 15.
The offences were said to have occurred over a three-year period at the end of the 1980s, when she worked at various schools, including one in Sunderland.
The prosecution has alleged the younger boy was groomed for sex while her husband was out.
Mr Toland said in a statement read to the jury that they were married in 1986 and it lasted two years.
After living in Huddersfield together, they moved to Stanley, to a house on the same street as her parents.
He said: “We moved to the North East. She was teaching at various schools during this time and I thought life was pretty good.”
He worked for Ratners jewellers and his new job saw him travelling across the North, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the court heard.
“I remember our relationship began to suffer. The marriage nose-dived and we didn’t get on. I felt pushed aside.
“I suppose, looking back, I was not always around, which was different from when we lived in Huddersfield.
“For the last 18 months we didn’t have sex. I knew things were not right and she didn’t want anything to do with me.
“I was hurt, as I loved her. I was totally besotted with her.”
He said he returned home from working away one day and “Anne took me into another room and basically stated that our marriage was over”.
He added: “I was totally head-over-heels with Anne. I worshipped the ground she walked on.”
Mr Toland recalled the younger complainant, who was in a group which would sometimes visit their home, was “quite a mixed-up boy, troubled, angry with the world”.
“I didn’t dislike him,” he said.
The jury has been told Mr Toland almost caught his wife and the younger boy in bed together and the terrified teenager had to hide.
That boy told a friend they’d had sex as the pair walked to school one morning, the jury heard.
The friend, who cannot be identified, recalled the conversation happened when they were 13 or 14.
“He was just his normal self, he said it quite matter-of-factly,” the witness said.
The man said his childhood friend would call Lakey “mommy”. And he said she would ring his school, pretending to be his mother, to cover for him playing truant.
Tim Roberts QC, defending, asked the friend about the complainant’s claims.
“Subsequently in life, when he has brought this up, it has been in a light-hearted way, when he has drinks, or when people are talking about conquests,” the barrister said.
The witness replied: “I wouldn’t say it was light-hearted, but I suppose so.”
Asked to clarify the point by Caroline Goodwin, prosecuting, the witness said: “(He) sometimes got very upset by it.”
The trial continues.