March 2008

Primary school governor is unmasked as secret paedophile after assault on boy, 13

A paedophile found guilty of sexually assaulting a boy had managed to become a governor at a primary school despite having two convictions for sex crimes.

Married father-of-two Alan Whitty seemed a pillar of the community until he was exposed as a child abuser after he admitted an attack on a 13-year-old boy.

It was revealed that he had convictions for sex crimes going back to 1987, having twice been convicted for indecency offences – including one in a public toilet.

But since neither crime related to children, the 44-year-old driving instructor was allowed to continue acting as a governor at the Seaford Annecy Roman Catholic Primary School in Sussex.

Whitty, of Seaford, yesterday admitted two offences of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy.

However, Judge Richard Hayward said he would be spared prison so he could get treatment to prevent him attacking again.

Lewes Crown court was told that Whitty, though married, was a homosexual who suppressed his true sexuality for years.

Kelly German, defending, said: “Up until the time of these proceedings he has been an upstanding member of the community in all respects – a family man, involved in his local church.

“Effectively his life is now ruined and cannot continue as it was. He has lost his reputation and his employment.

“He does not ask for sympathy. He fully accepts what he did was utterly wrong and completely unacceptable. He confessed fully to police about what he had done.

“His remorse is genuine and he accepts responsibility for his behaviour. He is at a loss to explain how this situation manifested itself.

“Despite the fact he had been married for 22 years his sexual orientation is homosexual, but not directed towards children.”

She said Whitty had sought help for his behaviour, which she described as being a “one-off”.

Whitty, whose marriage has ended following the charges, was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years and was told he would be supervised by the probation service for two years, during which he would undertake a sex offender treatment programme.

Last night school bosses moved to calm fears that the convicted sex offender had been in contact with pupils.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The alleged incidents in this case did not occur during school hours or on school premises. No students from the school where he was a governor were involved.”

The education authority said it could not confirm what role Whitty played as a governor at Annecy RC Primary, but stressed he would have had to go through a Criminal Records Bureau check if he had worked directly with pupils.

The Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, the Right Reverend Kieran Conry, said: “Not all school governors are routinely checked because not all of them go into schools.”