‘Family man’ jailed for repeated child abuse
Judge questions why earlier complaint was not investigated Exclusive
A judge has ordered an investigation into why a child abuse victim’s complaint was not properly investigated five years before her attacker was eventually convicted.
Heather Norton described the situation as deeply disturbing as she sentenced Gary Teague to 22-and-a-half years in prison for a series of sex attacks on five children.
The 58-year-old had already been jailed for 27 months last year for filming girls for his sexual pleasure.
Now he has been convicted by a jury at Canterbury Crown Court of attacking other children as young as three.
After the guilty verdicts on 13 sex charges, Judge Norton revealed to the jury that one of the children had reported in 2012 of being attacked.
She said: “I am very concerned about how it is that this allegation was not properly investigated at that time.”
The judge said there is no suggestion other victims were sexually abused as a result but added that children were at risk for a number of years.
“That fact is deeply disturbing and I would like an explanation why her claim was not followed through,” she said.
“And I would like an explanation from the Crown Prosecution Service as to why, when other allegations were already under investigation, the complaints against just two of the victims were tried – and not all of them together.
“That could have had a severe impact on decisions of juries and could have had a severe impact on justice. It was a gross miscalculation. I need an answer by the end of January.”
DS Paul Deslandes said after
the hearing: “Kent Police carried out a thorough investigation into Gary Teague in 2012.
“However, at that time there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.
“Subsequently more evidence came to light, the investigation was re-opened and
Teague was charged and successfully convicted.”
In last year’s trial, the jury had heard how Teague was caught secretly filming children bathing.
The paedophile, who was regarded as a “kind, devoted family man”, had stored the footage on his computer.
A jury rejected his account and convicted him on two charges of voyeurism.
Teague was also found guilty of inciting a child to carry out a sex act and was jailed for 27 months.
When one of his victims threatened to reveal his secrets, she was told that she would not be believed because she was just a child.
Judge Norton told Teague: “Your victims were vulnerable. There was a considerable degree of planning in this case.
“I heard from a number of people who know you. Their observations of you are that you are kind, hard-working and a devoted family man.
“They are shocked at the allegations and have found them difficult to believe. “
After the trial, Teague faced the new allegations involving children as young as three, which he also denied.
He was given an immediate jail sentence of 22 and a half years, with an additional four years to serve on licence.
He was also placed under an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and given a restraining order banning him from contacting his victims.
Later Judge Norton praised the victims for their strength and integrity and spoke to one who sat in the public gallery.
She told her: “None of this was your fault. None.”
Gary Teague sexually abused young girls
Judge Heather Norton – ordered inquiry