Former teacher jailed over sex offences

A former teacher convicted of historic sexual abuse of three boys at a Blackburn school and who has tried to blame the Jimmy Savile effect, has today been jailed for three years.

Scales
Scales

John Mead carried out offences on the youngsters while on youth hostel trips.

Preston Crown Court heard today that his crimes had life changing consequences for his victims. But 76 years old Mead had told a probation officer compiling a background report on him that he was effectively a victim of what he described as the Jimmy Savile effect.

He even suggested he had been cleverly set up by unscrupulous former pupils and that the jury had been deceived into convicting an innocent man.

But his remarks were utterly rejected without reservation by Judge Christopher Cornwall who pointed to the fact that complaints had been made in 2000 and 2006 by two of his victims, though no action was taken at the time, which was a number of years before Savile died.

A letter of complaint from one of the victims was found at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School when police went there last year.

Mead from Timbrills Avenue, Sabden had denied four counts of indecent assault, but was found guilty after trial. The offences dated back to the 1970s when he was a teacher at the school. His victims had all made impact statements to describe how their experiences had affected their lives.

Defence barrister Andrew Nuttall said the case involved just a few offences and there had been no threats or overt violence.

During Mead’s working life he had taught hundreds of boys. He had had a very positive effect on many people in general, not just at school.

Judge Cornwall told Mead as he passed sentence: “This is a truly terrible case.” He described the victim personal statements as “unbearably moving” documents.

He added: “I cannot justify a sentence that is a day shorter than three

years in prison in total.”

The defendant will be on the sex offender’s register for the rest of his life and banned from unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.