September 2021

Primary school headmaster, 44, sexually abused 15-year-old boy and filmed youngsters naked in a changing room

A primary school headmaster who sexually abused a 15-year-old boy and filmed youngsters naked in a changing room has been branded a ‘highly dangerous predatory paedophile’.

Douglas (Duggie) Speight, 44, of Leeds was jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty to 15 charges including sexual activity with a child, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, making indecent images of a child and voyeurism.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Speight, head of a school in Yorkshire, began grooming the 15-year-old by inviting him over to his flat during lockdown.

Passing sentence, Judge Richard Mansell QC said he had used his position of trust to ‘cynically manipulate’ the boy and his family.

‘You were well respected and liked by your colleagues, the pupils and their parents but your public persona hid a very dark secret, in that you are a highly dangerous, predatory, manipulative paedophile with a sexual interest in young boys,’ he said. 

Judge Mansell added that Speight’s offending was at the highest category of harm and that his victim would have to ‘live with the mental scars of what you did to him for the rest of his life’.

Prosecutor Tom Storey said Speight became friends with the boy’s family and offered tutoring.

He also gave the boy alcohol and took him out to buy him presents including clothes and a laptop.

The victim was changed by the abuse, crying and becoming angry and sad, and eventually confiding in a friend and alerting the police, the court heard.

When Speight was arrested he admitted that his behaviour had been inappropriate but denied that anything sexual had taken place.

Police searched his house and found a computer tablet and phones containing indecent videos of the boy taken without his knowledge, hidden behind a picture and an air vent. 

The court was told the devices contained footage of Speight having sex with the teenager filmed with a hidden camera.

There was also a video of young boys changing at a swimming pool.

Speight then admitted to investigating officers that he had abused the boy. 

In an impact statement, the boy’s mother said Speight had ‘destroyed my happy family life’

‘He used my friendship and trust and twisted it, ‘she said. ‘He stole my son’s innocence and we can never get it back.’

Judge Mansell made an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Speight was ordered to sign on the sex offender register for life.  

He was listed as being a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENC) for his Yorkshire school, which can’t be named for legal reasons.