Headteacher 'a sexual predator'
A headteacher accused of having sex with two underage boys in the late 1980s was a "sexual predator who exploited the situation she was in", a jury has heard.
Anne Lakey, 55, from Stanley, County Durham, denies 13 counts of indecent assault said to have occurred over a three year period in the late 1980s.
Caroline Goodwin, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court: "You are going to hear about two young boys who are now adults who each were sexually abused by a woman older, more mature and in a position of trust and responsibility.
"Her conduct towards them demonstrates, in the submission of the Crown, that here was a sexual predator who exploited the situation she was in."
Lakey is accused of repeatedly having sex with one boy when he was 13 or 14 and another when he was 15. Neither can be identified for legal reasons.
The prosecution alleged the complainants have not been in contact with each other as adults, were of similar ages at the time and the "indecent assaults" happened in similar circumstances. "The single common denominator, say the Crown, is the defendant," Miss Goodwin said.
At the time Lakey was a teacher and the alleged offences represented a "gross breach of trust," the court heard.
They happened when she was married to Eamon Toland and the younger complainant would go round to her house when her husband was out, the court heard.
"The defendant exploited the vulnerability and immaturity of the complainant, a young boy who was naturally curious about sex," Miss Goodwin said.
"She flattered him and paid attention to him. It was their secret. (He) became in a way submissive to her sexual demands. She, say the Crown, used him for her own sexual gratification.
"He was a young impressionable teenager being groomed."
Miss Goodwin said, as a teacher, Lakey would be respected, while if he made an allegation against her "who would believe his account if he came forward?"
The prosecution added: "She breached the trust, that respect and her position in such a way that she would have been fully aware that what she was engaging in was wrong and unlawful.
"She, say the Crown, is a manipulator, well skilled in what she was doing."
Miss Goodwin said: "This was in neither case a loving relationship, it was the sexual abuse of young vulnerable boys whom she groomed for her own personal gratification."
The younger complainant said he would visit her when he played truant and they formed a friendship which the Crown said was "plainly wrong".
Their first sexual encounter happened when they played a game of dare and he exposed her breasts and fondled them, the jury was told.
On another occasion he was sitting talking to her when she was in the bath. She got out, wrapped herself in a towel, then lay naked on the bed and he followed her, the court was told.
He was in his school uniform when he then lost his virginity to her, Miss Goodwin said.
After that they had sex regularly, the prosecution said, once or twice a week. On one occasion her husband almost caught them and the teenager was terrified.
That fear eventually led him to decide to break off the relationship, Miss Goodwin said.
But before that, she rang his school and pretended to be his mother to explain he was off sick, the jury heard.
In December 2012, when he was on the internet, he came across Lakey's picture and saw on a blog that she stated her "raison d'etre was to give young people the best start in life", the court was told.
He sent an email to her school, saying he could not believe she was still working with children, and that she should not be allowed "anywhere near young people, especially boys".
He claimed she had sex with him when he was 13, and called her "a disgusting sexual monster".
When she was arrested in connection with the younger boy's accusations, she denied them.
Miss Goodwin said: "She said there was no truth in the allegations, that she was a professional person with an unblemished record and this was just a fantasy."
The second set of allegations centred around a boy who was 15 at the time, the court heard. He said he regularly had sex with Lakey at her home.
Miss Goodwin said: "This behaviour continued for some time until he then saw her with someone else and realised he was no longer needed."
When he was 17 they recommenced their sexual relationship lawfully, the court heard.
When he later met his partner he told her that he had been in a relationship with a teacher when he was 15.
And Lakey contacted him in 2012 "out of the blue", the jury was told.
"The purpose of the call was to warn him off," Miss Goodwin said.
She asked him if he will back "the old woman", the court heard.
Miss Goodwin said: "Well, what was the purpose of that?"
When Lakey was arrested in connection with the second set of allegations in December 2014 she said they had a sexual relationship when he was 18.
Miss Goodwin said: "She could not recall how it started. It was a casual relationship."
Lakey told police that she was head of history at a school in Sunderland in the late 1980s, the court heard.
She thought the first complainant was "generally obnoxious" at the time, Miss Goodwin said.
The prosecution said he has since been in trouble with the law and his life has not been perfect.
But he had been "glaringly consistent" in the allegations he made against Lakey, Miss Goodwin said.
"That consistency is underlined by the independent complaint of (the second man)," she added.
The case was adjourned until tomorrow.