Shamed Teachers Walk Free

Two shamed teachers jailed for sickening child sex offences will soon be back on the streets after serving half of their sentences, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.

Former primary school principal Jude Lynch – who sexually abused three young boys – is due for early release within days, while deputy headmaster Nigel Gordon Jackson – the first person in Northern Ireland to be convicted of grooming a child for sexual purposes on the internet – will be freed at the end of the summer.

The shamed teachers are among 133 sex offenders set to benefit from the province’s controversial 50% remission policy.

Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson vowed late last year to abolish the policy.

However, the Government has been unable to give any firm indication of when new legislation will be introduced.

As concern over the delay in implementing the new law continues to mount, the Belfast Telegraph has learned that Lynch (46), the former head teacher at Good Shepherd Primary School in Londonderry, will walk free within days.

In April 2005 Lynch, of Learmount Road in the Park area of Derry, was jailed for four years after admitting 33 sex offences against three boys aged 13, 14 and 15, including indecent assault and gross indecency.

Under 50% remission he will serve just two years.

Lynch was forced to resign from his job when his sordid sex crimes came to light, although none of the offences took place in the school or involved any of the children.

It is understood that Lynch took his young victims to top hotels to engage in “a sequence of homosexual adventures”.

Meanwhile, after spending time on remand awaiting his trial, child internet groomer Nigel Jackson (49) will be released within the next few months after serving less than half of his four year sentence – despite being described by a judge as a danger to young girls.

Jackson, from Bowden Rise, Seaford, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to internet grooming in April 2006 and also admitted two sample charges of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency and a charge of indecent assault.

The gross indecency charges related to a series of photographs sent by mobile phone.

The indecent assault charge stemmed from Jackson attempting to kiss the 14-year-old girl at the Foyleside shopping centre.

Formerly the deputy principal of Seaford Community College in East Sussex, Jackson pretended to be a young student as he developed a relationship with the girl through an internet chatroom, mobile phone calls and text messaging.

Police became aware of the situation when the girl’s school friends told a teacher they had concerns about a relationship she was conducting on the internet.

Today fresh demands were made for the Government to introduce the replacement policy for 50% remission as a matter of urgency.

The new scheme will aim to ensure that high-risk offenders are not released until they no longer pose a threat to the public.

The change in law was promised after 35,000 people signed up to the Belfast Telegraph’s Justice For Attracta Campaign, calling for the abolition of the controversial policy.

Helena Bracken of the support group for sexual offence victims, the Nexus Institute, said it is “scandalous” that Lynch and Jackson are being freed so early.

“What message does it send out to the perpetrators of these crimes, which are some of the most abhorrent that can be committed?” she said.

“It will continue to put off victims from coming forward and it needs to go – the public are fed up.

“The fact that these people are still being freed despite serving only half of their sentence is just plain wrong and all sex offenders should serve their full time in prison.”