Ex-pri­mary head jailed for sex abuse of pupils

Western Mail - - NEWS - Claire Hay­hurst news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

APRIMARY school head teacher who sys­tem­at­i­cally sex­u­ally abused dozens of pupils has been jailed for 10 years.

Gor­don Fleming, 66, in­de­cently touched 44 girls aged as young as seven over a 15-year pe­riod when he taught at three schools in Wales.

Swansea Crown Court heard that school­girls would “rush” from his class­room at the end of lessons to es­cape be­ing abused.

Fleming taught graphic lessons on re­pro­duc­tion and in­structed school­girls to act out sex­ual po­si­tions in front of their class­mates. Dur­ing the classes, he in­structed pupils to sim­u­late sex with their hands and make sex­ual noises as they sat in a cir­cle.

Judge Geraint Wal­ters said Fleming, of Oswestry, Shrop­shire, left some of his vic­tims with “se­vere psy­cho­log­i­cal harm”.

“They were young, naive, in­no­cent and re­spect­ful of your po­si­tion and your ob­vi­ous author­ity,” the judge told Fleming. “Scary, an­gry and preda­tory are all words that de­scribe the wicked­ness of what you did.

“What is re­mark­able about this case is the scale of your of­fend­ing over such a sig­nif­i­cant pe­riod of time, af­fect­ing the lives of so many.”

The judge de­scribed Fleming’s abuse as “sys­tem­atic” and said it was “rou­tinely re­peated over and over again”.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Robin Rouch said Fleming abused girls aged seven to 11 when he worked as a teacher and head teacher at three schools in Wales.

In 1992 he was jailed for four years at Ch­ester Crown Court af­ter ad­mit­ting nine counts of in­de­cently as­sault­ing pupils at one school.

Mr Rouch said this re­lated to nine vic­tims, but it is be­lieved that Fleming asked for other of­fences, re­lat­ing to other girls, to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Fleming’s con­duct at all three schools from the 1970s to the 1990s was launched af­ter a num­ber of pupils re­ported be­ing abused by him.

Three came for­ward in 2011, while an­other pro­vided po­lice with a list of class­mates she be­lieved had also been touched by Fleming in 2014.

Vic­tims de­scribed how Fleming would touch them on an al­most daily ba­sis.

He would lie on top of some of the girls and sim­u­late sex, and force them to touch him through his trousers.

Some par­ents com­plained about Fleming’s be­hav­iour, but he con­tin­ued to abuse their chil­dren.

In Fe­bru­ary of this year Fleming ad­mit­ted 24 counts of in­de­cently touch­ing girls aged un­der 13, re­lat­ing to 24 vic­tims. He ad­mit­ted a fur­ther 11 counts, re­lat­ing to 11 girls, in Au­gust.

Rep­re­sent­ing Fleming, Dyfed Thomas said his client showed gen­uine re­morse and “fully re­alises” the con­se­quences of his ac­tions.

Speak­ing af­ter the case, Ni­cola Pow­ell, of the Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice, said: “Gor­don Fleming hid be­hind his rep­u­ta­tion as a well-re­spected teacher for decades.

“He used his author­ity to ful­fil his own sex­ual grat­i­fi­ca­tion.”

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> Gor­don Fleming has been jailed for 10 years

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