North Somerset school teacher pleads guilty to charges of sexual abuse

05/05/2011

A North Somerset school teacher has today appeared at Bristol Crown court and pleaded guilty to 36 charges of sexual abuse against children.

Nigel Leat aged 50 pleaded guilty to:

1 charge of attempted rape child under 13
8 charges of sexual assault child under 13 by penetration
23 charges of sexual assault child under 13 no penetration
1 charge of causing or inciting child under 13 to engage in sexual activity
1 charge of voyeurism
1 charge of possession of indecent photographs of children
1 charge of possession of extreme pornographic images

On December 13 2010 police received information about sexual abuse against children. That afternoon he was arrested and questioned on suspicion of a number of offences. He appeared in court the following day and was remanded into custody where he has since remained.

Head of Public Protection Superintendent Geoff Wessell said: "The pleas entered by Nigel Leat are welcomed by both the investigative team and the families of those vulnerable victims who have endured abuse at the hands of this man.

"These pleas mean the children who have come to harm will not have to endure a stressful trial, reliving the moments Nigel Leat abused them and retained a hold on them.

"Nigel Leat was placed in a position of trust as a teacher in the North Somerset area, this trust was clearly breached when he subjected young girls in his care to repeated sexual abuse.

"For a number of years Leat believed he had got away with these crimes, crimes that will leave his victims with both emotional and mental scars.

"We would like to thank the families who have come forward to police to report this abuse. Their courage and support has brought this man before the courts

Head of the CPS Complex Casework Unit, Ann Reddrop, said: "Nigel Leat admitted a number of extremely serious offences.

"This was a gross breach of trust involving the abuse of children who were, at the time, in his care.

"We worked closely with Avon and Somerset Constabulary from a very early stage to ensure a successful prosecution. We reviewed an enormous amount of evidence and it is testament to the hard work of the whole prosecution team that when presented with that evidence Nigel Leat had no choice but to plead guilty.

"We take crimes of this nature very seriously and will prosecute wherever there is sufficient evidence to do so. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the justice system and offenders will be brought to justice.

"We now await sentence."