On Friday 2 December 2016, Peter Farrands, a former school teacher and scout master from Leicester pleaded guilty to seven offences of sexually assaulting young children. The majority of Farrands’ victims were pupils at Folville Rise Junior School in Braunstone, Leicester, where Farrands was a teacher until 1981.

After Farrands left the school he subsequently took up a role in the church.

On Friday, Farrands appeared via video link at Leicester Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty to various offences. Farrands has been incarcerated at HMP Littlehey since he was found guilty of a number of similar offences against children in May 2015. In sentencing Judge Nicholas Dean QC noted that Farrands’ offences were a “breach of trust as a school teacher and scoutmaster and the effect continues to haunt the victims”. Judge Dean sentenced Farrands to a further two years imprisonment in addition to the seven years he was already serving for offences against other children.

The offences by Farrands took place at Folville Rise Junior School in locations such as classrooms and store cupboards as well as at Farrands’ home address. A number of the offences that Farrands has now been convicted of relate to incidents which took place in a classroom setting whilst Farrands was teaching other children.

Bolt Burdon Kemp is representing individuals affected by sexual abuse by Farrands. We have previously helped bring successful claims for compensation against Leicestershire County Council, during which the council accepted that it was responsible for Farrands’ actions as he abused children in the course of his employment at Folville Rise Junior School which was a school under their control.

It is an unfortunate feature of this case that Leicestershire County Council missed opportunities to identify Farrands as a paedophile and prevent him from abusing other children. At Farrands’ trial in May 2015 it emerged that the headmaster of Folville Rise Junior School at the time of Farrands’ offences was made aware that Farrands had indecently assaulted a pupil of the school during a barge trip with the Scouts in the late 1970s. The headmaster who was also County Commissioner for the Scouts required Farrands to leave his post as a scout master however he did not report the incident to police and allowed Farrands to continue to work as a teacher at Folville Rise Junior School. Farrands has now been convicted of offences against children who attended the school after this incident took place.

Following Farrands’ conviction, Detective Sergeant Hazel Sandall of Leicestershire Police commented that she hopes that this case encourages other people affected by abuse to come forward:

“No matter how old the offender and no matter how many years ago crimes took place, we will conduct a thorough examination of the evidence and will not hesitate to seek charges being brought against perpetrators of crime where evidence is available to us”.