An acclaimed North East headteacher has denied a catalogue of abuse against a young boy during the 1980s.
Anne Lakey won national recognition as chief executive of the Durham Federation of Schools after overseeing the country’s biggest improvement in GCSE results.
But yesterday she appeared at Consett Magistrates’ Court accused of eight sex offences against a child under 16 during a 12 and a half month period in 1988 and 1989.
Dressed all in black, the 54-year-old, of Oxhill Villas in Stanley, County Durham, spoke only to confirm her name and enter her not guilty pleas.
Lakey denies two counts of inciting a boy under 16 to commit an act of gross indecency, two counts of gross indecency on a boy under 16 and four counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16.
The offences were said to have occurred when she was a teacher in her late 20s, but her alleged victim - who is now aged around 40 - was not a pupil at the school she was working in at the time.
Defence solicitor Richard Copsey, told the court that his client “strongly denies the allegations.”
Magistrates declined jurisdiction and sent the case to the Durham Crown Court, where Lakey must appear later this month.
She was granted unconditional bail.
The federation where Lakey was chief includes Durham Community Business College in Ushaw Moor and Fyndoune Community College in Sacriston.
Fyndoune was last year named the country’s most improved secondary school after the number of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs, including maths and English, rose from 26% to 80%. Both colleges were judged “outstanding” by Ofsted school inspectors in 2011 and Lakey had been hailed by the Government’s chief inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw.
But just before Christmas last year the 54-year-old, who became a teacher in 1982, was suspended by Durham County Council while an investigation was carried out