Nigel Leat (pictured) was given an indefinite sentence at Bristol Crown Court in 2011
The parents of a six-year-old girl who was sexually abused by one of Britain’s worst paedophiles are furious over plans to release him back into the community.
Teacher, Nigel Leat, a married father-of-two, preyed on up to 40 children at his primary school, Hillside First School in Worle, Somerset, luring them to his classroom with gifts and notes before carrying out sickening attacks on them.
He was branded a ‘paedophile of the most sickening order’ by the judge who handed him an ‘indefinite sentence’ at Bristol Crown Court in 2011, when Leat was 51.
Victims families were told the sick pervert would stay caged behind bars for at least 16 years before being considered for parole.
But one family says they are ‘devastated’ after being told he is being considered for release in April.
The girl’s mother, who cannot be named to protect her daughter’s identity, said: ‘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. They are terrified they might bump into him’.
The girl’s mum will read out a victim impact statement at the upcoming Parole Board hearing.
She added: ‘I have been in contact with the probation officer since the case. I have asked to go to every single hearing and I have been told no apart from this one.
‘But I’ve been told I can only read my statement then leave. You are not allowed to ask any questions. I think we should be able to know more about what he has been doing in prison. I need to know exactly what he has done to prove he has changed and will not reoffend’.
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.
He was branded a ‘paedophile of the most sickening order’ by the judge who handed him an ‘indefinite sentence’ at Bristol Crown Court in 2011, when Leat was 51 (pictured as he was questioned by police)
She added: ‘It was hard enough when he was moved to an open prison. I wanted to go, I wrote a statement then as well but they held the hearing earlier without telling us. All we were told was they were sorry which was not good enough.
‘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’.
Leat, was convicted of a catalogue of sex offences against children, described by police as some of the worst they had ever seen.
The teacher, from Brislington, Bristol, whose campaign of abuse spanned 13 years, groomed his victims with gifts and notes before filming himself touching them during lessons.
It was discovered that Leat would routinely hide a camera under his desk and then summon his victims, recording the subsequent horrifying images of the abuse.
In many of the videos, which are up to ten minutes in length, other children can be seen or heard in the background.
When police finally became involved, Leat first denied wrongdoing but later admitted 36 sexual offences including rape, assault and voyeurism.
Leat was arrested in December 2010, when a schoolgirl told her mother he abused her ‘every day apart from when the teaching assistant was in the classroom’.
Police who raided the home he shared with his wife, also a teacher, found more than 30,000 images, including 61 pictures and 21 movies at level five, the most serious level.
Leat preyed on up to 40 children at his primary school, Hillside First School in Worle, Somerset, (pictured) luring them to his classroom with gifts and notes before carrying out sickening attacks on them
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.
Over 13 years, concerns had been raised repeatedly about Leat’s behaviour with pupils, but his conduct was never investigated. He had abused children in the school’s computer room, resource room, staff room and even during lessons with other pupils present.
A review by the North Somerset Safeguarding Children Board concluded that his appalling crimes could have been stopped much earlier if the school had not failed to act on the warnings.
The headmaster at the time was sacked following a disciplinary process.
Kim Harrison, an abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon who represents a number of Leat’s victims, said: ‘Leat is a manipulative and calculating individual who groomed and abused his victims over a long period of time.
‘Their parents were assured he would spend many more years behind bars so are understandably angry that he could be freed so soon and desperate to protect their children.
‘We know from recent cases such as John Worboys and Joseph McCann that the Parole Board does get it wrong sometimes. That’s why they are demanding answers’.