June 2018

Former headteacher jailed for abusing boys

A former headteacher and choirmaster was jailed after sexually abusing two boys 50 years ago.

Graham Walker, 74, was sentenced to a year in prison, but will be released on license after six months.

He was found guilty on six counts of indecent assault, relating to the abuse of two boys who were both between 11 and 13 at the time of the offences.

The boys were abused at Walker’s home in the 60s and 70s, after he befriended them when he was choirmaster of a Merseyside church.

In an emotional victim impact statement one of his victims, now a grown man, told how the abuse was “the single most traumatic experience of my life”.

Reading out the statement, Prosecutor Arthur Gibson, said: “That afternoon I was terrified and at his mercy, I remember just thinking do what he says and get out alive.

“The events have left a scar that has been with me all my life.

“I felt ashamed and guilty and thought I’d done something wrong and thought that no one would believe me.

“I did not report this abuse to seek revenge, it had a profound affect on my life and I would like an apology.”

After the abuse Walker went on to become headmaster of St Nicholas Blundellsands from 1989 until 2005 when he retired.

Walker, of Halifax Road, Ainsdale, was described in court as a “valued member” of Holy Trinity Church in Southport.

Judge Flewitt QC jailed Walker, who suffers from arthritis, prostate cancer and early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Judge Flewitt told him: “You’ve lived a good life and made a positive contribution to society, but you had a dark secret that you hid from public view.

“The secret was that during your time training as a teacher you abused people in your care in their formative years.

“You have shown no remorse and showed arrogance and contempt towards your victims during the trial.

“The consequences of your actions meant your victims had to live with the impact of what had happened to them for years.

“To not jail you would say to victims of abusers that if they can hide their offences for long enough they can get away with it. This is not the case.”

Walker was sentenced to a year in prison, ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders register for 10 years and pay £2,500 costs.