July 2015

Former teacher & convicted paedophile walks free from court for abusing an 8-year-old girl


A retired head teacher who almost 13 years ago went to jail for molesting young girls has now admitted abusing another victim.

Nigel Weekes was sentenced to three years in October 2002 after admitting playing lurid games with seven girls, four of whom were pupils at his primary school – St Mary’s in Ashford.

Now, the 75-year-old has confessed to abusing another girl while he was head of a primary school in Northfleet almost 40 years ago.

Weekes, of Laurel Avenue, St Mary’s Bay, Romney Marsh, walked free with a suspended sentence after a judge heard he was suffering from dementia and had various other health problems.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the eight-year-old victim was extremely vulnerable.

“You seized the opportunity to take her under your wing, and while in a position of considerable trust and responsibility, slowly but surely you groomed her to perform sex acts upon you for your personal gratification,” Judge Philip Statman told Weekes.

“At that stage in her life she had absolutely no idea as to what she was being asked to do to you, or, of course, that it was wrong.”

Sex acts took place during game playing while his private parts were “tied in some way to a candle”.

Jennifer Dempster, defending, said Weekes had served a “significant” sentence and not offended since.

His wife sat in the public gallery as Miss Dempster said: “She couldn’t be more loyal.”

She added: “I am in a position to say he is a rehabilitated man. He has possible alzheimer’s, type one diabetes, no vision in his left eye, vertigo and hypertension.

“I am in the odd position of saying give him a suspended sentence and don’t send him back in with active sex offenders.”

Judge Statman said: “These cases are terribly sensitive. The public as a whole have grave concerns about sex offending within the community and judges have to be sensitive to the needs of victims, because her life has changed as a result of what happened to her.”

He told Weekes: “The events have haunted your victim for over 38 years, causing her great distress. Her childhood was ruined as a result of what you did to her.”

Weekes, who admitted two specimen offences of indecency with a child, will be under supervision for two years.

A sexual harm prevention order was imposed for five years and his name remains on the sex offenders’ register.

Judge Statman said the victim had found it difficult to trust in relationships and had sought counselling.

“Thirty-eight years later justice has caught up with you,” he continued. “The age of these offences become irrelevant, it seems to me, because she has had to live with what you have done to her over the passage of time.”

But sentencing was difficult because of the juxtaposition of dates in both sets of offences and Weekes’s poor health.

The maximum sentence for the latest offence was two years imprisonment at the relevant time.

“It would be wrong now, 10 years after your release and subsequent to the commission of these offences, to send you, in poor health, back to prison,” said Judge Statman.

“If you had been before me to be sentenced in different circumstances you would have gone to prison for a long time.”

October 2002

Sex assault headteacher jailed

A retired primary school headmaster has been jailed for acts of indecency with children, going back more than 20 years.

Nigel Weekes, 62, from Ashford in Kent, had pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecency with a child and one indecent assault.

Maidstone Crown Court heard they happened between 1979 and 1987 at St Mary’s primary school in Ashford, where he was headmaster, and also at his home.

Prosecuting, Isobel Ascherson told the jury the headteacher would use the guise of games to commit the indecent acts on the girls, all aged under 10.

She also told the court he would perform sex acts on himself in front of the girls when they came to his house.

No excuses

Sentencing him, Judge Antony Balston told Weekes: “The offences you committed were in flagrant breach of trust.

“There cannot be anything much worse than a schoolmaster who abused the children in his care.”

Judge Balston sentenced Weekes to three years imprisonment for the indecent assaults and 18 months for each of the other counts, to run concurrently.

The judge also ordered he be registered as a sex offender and prohibited from working with children again.

Defending Mark Dacey said: “Words cannot convey the shame and remorse that Mr Weekes feels.

“And, in keeping with his previous exemplary lifestyle, he has not sought to offer excuses. He only offers apologies.”