A nationally-acclaimed headteacher accused of having under-age sex with two teenage boys in the 1980s has emotionally denied the allegations and told a jury she was “devastated” when she learned of them in an email.
Anne Lakey, 55, from Stanley, County Durham, denies a total of 13 counts of indecent assault on a boy aged 13 or 14 and another boy aged 15 over a three-year period when she was a history and RE teacher.
I hadn’t seen (him) for nearly 20 years, I said ‘I’m really sorry, I’m having some problems at school. There is a malicious email at school, you have been named in it’.Anne Lakey
She told Teesside Crown Court she has been suspended from her role as chief executive of the Durham Federation, in charge of two secondary schools.
She was a National Leader in Education, helping other schools to improve their performance, and was trained to be an Ofsted school inspector, the court heard.
But the head, who is married and has a daughter, was suspended when one of the complainants emailed her school in December 2012, branding her a “disgusting sexual monster” and claiming she had sex with him when he was 13.
Tim Roberts QC, defending, asked: “What effect did that have on you?”
Lakey told the jury: “I was devastated.”
The younger complainant has said he played a dare game with her and exposed her breasts during a visit to her home in the late 1980s.
He claimed she later had sex with him after he watched her bathe. They then repeatedly had sex, he alleged.
Lakey’s voice cracked with emotion when Mr Roberts put those claims to her.
Mr Roberts asked: “Was there ever an occasion when you took off your clothes and encouraged him to have sexual intercourse with you?”
From the witness box, she replied: “Absolutely not.”
“Did anything like that ever occur between you and (the complainant),” she was asked. “It did not,” she replied.
She also said she did not phone his school to impersonate his mother when he was playing truant with her, Lakey told the court.
The second, older complainant said Lakey took his virginity in a tent after she encouraged him to creep over in the middle of the night.
Lakey told the court: “(He) did not visit me in the night.”
The boy “certainly did not” get in her sleeping bag, “did not kiss and cuddle” her or have sex with her, she said.
He has also claimed to have been having sex with her at her home once when her mother came knocking at the door.
Lakey said: “My mum would have been able to get in, she would have been able to use the key.”
The head did develop a sexual relationship with this complainant when he was 18, she said.
In 2012, Lakey rang her ex-lover after the first complainant’s email dropped at her school because he had been named in it, she explained.
“The email that (the first complainant) sent came into school on a Sunday evening very late and I was informed late the following morning. It came into my confidential email.
“(The second complainant) was named in it and I phoned (him) sometime in the following week.
“I hadn’t seen (him) for nearly 20 years, I said ‘I’m really sorry, I’m having some problems at school. There is a malicious email at school, you have been named in it’.”
Lakey denied she asked him not to talk to the police.
“I suppose I just felt awkward and embarrassed that he was being dragged into this and that he had been named in an email,” she said.
“I was having trouble at school. I wanted to give him the heads-up, someone could knock on his door.
“I didn’t know a great deal about him. I presumed he had a family and his own life and it would not be good to get a shock.”
At the time of the allegations, Lakey taught at Sandhill View School, Sunderland. She went on to teach at Farringdon in Sunderland, and Burnside in Wallsend, before moving to Deerness Valley School.
That joined with another school to form the Durham Federation, the jury heard.
Lakey’s first job after studying at Sheffield University was teaching in Mansfield, then Huddersfield before she moved with her then husband Eamonn Toland back to her native North East.