Fears paedophile teacher Nigel Leat could be released on parole
- Credit: Archant
Girls who were sexually abused by their teacher at a Worle school are ‘terrified’ they could bump into him if he is released on parole later this year.
Nigel Leat was jailed indefinitely in 2011 after he admitted 36 offences against young girls at Hillside First School in Worle.
The charges, which included one of attempted rape, 22 of sexually assaulting a child under 13 and eight of sexual assault by penetration, were described by police as some of the worst they had ever seen.
The 51-year-old predatory teacher from Brislington groomed the children with gifts and notes before filming himself abusing them in his classroom.
Despite assurances he would stay behind bars for much longer, Leat is being considered for parole later this year.
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The mother of one of the victims, who was abused at the age of six, said: “The judge said he could be considered for parole after a minimum of eight-and-a-half years but we were told not to question that, that he would serve more like double.
“If I had known this was going to happen, I would have fought it from the start.
“He has already been moved to an open prison and now he could be released full-time, free to live and walk around the same area as my daughter and the other girls he abused.
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“They are terrified they might bump into him.”
Leat’s campaign of abuse spanned 13 years and while the charges he faced related to five girls, others came forward following the case and police believe he may have abused as many as 40 girls.
He also had more than 30,000 indecent photographs and videos of child pornography in his possession, many of which were of the most serious nature.
The concerned mum said if Leat was allowed out, she feared for the safety of her daughter who still refuses to talk about the abuse and has suffered behavioural issues ever since.
She added: “It was hard enough when he was moved to an open prison.
“I do believe that he should be released from prison, I think everybody is rehabilitable but I just don’t think he should be released so soon.
“I have no confidence in the parole board at all. I think it exists purely for the offender with little consideration or even communication with victims and their families at all.”
Families of the victims have set up a petition on Change.org calling for Leat to remain in prison.