Former teacher jailed for abusing two girls

PUBLISHED: 14:48 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:48 02 February 2018

Geoffrey Wake.

Geoffrey Wake.

Archant

A former teacher has been jailed for abusing two girl pupils in Seaton.

Geoffrey Wake took advantage of one of the girls after she ran away from home at the age of 14 and went to him to ask for advice.

He abused the other when his own wife was pregnant and in hospital expecting his baby in the 1970s.

Wake was a PE teacher at Colyton Grammar School at the time and the assaults were carried out in Seaton, where he was living.

He enjoyed a career teaching at schools in Devon and Somerset until retiring shortly before the allegations came to light.

Neither of his victims made complaints at the time but both suffered the psychological effects and Wake’s abuse was exposed when a relative of one of them called the NSPCC last year.

Wake, now aged 63, of South Chard, Somerset, admitted four counts of indecently assaulting one girl when she was aged 14 and 15 and the other when she was 14.

He was jailed for three years and six months by Judge Erik Salomonsen at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “These girls were pupils at the school at which you taught PE. I accept that since these offences you have lived a blameless life with many positive features in terms of supporting young people. It is a complete contrast to the abuse these offences disclose.”

Mr David Sapiecha, prosecuting, said the first victim was 14 and 15 when she was abused.

The other girl was also a pupil, who had a row with her parents and left home at night. She sought him out in a club in Seaton, asking for advice, but was abused instead.

Mr Joss Ticehurst, defending, said there had been no breach of trust because Wake knew the girls socially, not through his work.

He said: “There was no offending in school. He has lived a blameless life since these incidents in which he has devoted himself to teaching others. The references show what a good job he had done.”

An NSPCC spokesman for South West England said: “With the attacks taking place decades ago, Wake may have thought he had got away with them, but thanks to the actions of a concerned relative who contacted the NSPCC, justice has finally been served.

“Without the right support, abuse can have long-lasting effects on victims.”

Any adult with concerns about the welfare of a child now or in the past, can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children can call Childline at any time on 0800 1111.”

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