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Teacher filmed sex attacks on girls

A primary school teacher filmed himself sexually abusing "vulnerable" young girls in his classroom, a court has heard.

Nigel Leat, 51, filmed shocking scenes of abuse against five carefully selected girls over the course of five years at Hillside First School in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

His victims' families listened in disbelief. Some relatives broke down in tears in the public gallery as the sentencing hearing at Bristol Crown Court heard details of how he would molest the girls as they practised their reading aloud in class, getting them to perform sex acts on him at the same time.

He could be heard in films referring to the girls as "sweetie pie" and "darling" and asking them how much they loved him.

The videos, in most of which Leat could be seen, showed girls were abused in the school's staff room and a resource room.

The father of two, who wore dark glasses and sat with his head bowed in the dock, initially denied all the claims made against him. But he confessed after police found the perverted films he recorded on his home computer.

Simon Morgan, prosecuting, told the court: "It is clear that these children had become well versed in doing what was expected of them. These were a myriad of offences over several years against exceptionally young children.

"The defendant took risks - he arranged the rooms in such a way as to avoid detection. The evidence shows that he took these opportunities to abuse these children."

Leat, of Bloomfield Road, Bristol, has admitted 36 sex offences, including attempted rape of a child and sexual assault on children.

The court heard that the popular teacher, who spent 15 years at the school, was warned in 2008 about being too "tactile" with the girls in his class by the school's deputy head, as staff were worried that it might leave him open to accusations of improper behaviour. No further action was ever taken.

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