‘Fam­ily man’ jailed for re­peated child abuse

Judge ques­tions why earlier com­plaint was not in­ves­ti­gated Exclusive

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Front Page - By Paul Hooper phooper@thek­m­group.co.uk @paul­hoop­erkm

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.”

Pic­ture: Kent Po­lice

Gary Teague sex­u­ally abused young girls

Judge Heather Nor­ton – or­dered in­quiry

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