Deputy head jailed for encouraging rape of girl, three

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The Independent Online

A married deputy head teacher was today jailed for seven years for encouraging and watching the rape of a three-year-old girl.

Respected Patrick Lennon had taught for decades at the all girl Greenbank High School in Southport, Merseyside, where he was a regarded as a "pillar of society".

But he had secretly struck up a friendship with two other paedophiles, Joseph John Hawley, 38, and Phillip Skitt, 54.

On November 16 2008 the disgraced teacher and Skitt, of Orrell Road, Wigan, watched on webcams as Hawley orally raped the little girl and broadcast it over the internet.

The duo encouraged Hawley, of Boundary Street, Bolton, by sending him chat room messages.

A transcript of the trio's conversation during the abuse was read to Liverpool Crown Court, which is too disturbing to report in detail.

But in it Hawley said it was a "pity" the others were not there "to help me play".

At the end of the abuse the disgraced teacher and father of two described the attack as "awesome".

When he was interviewed on September 2 last year, Lennon refused to answer detectives' questions.

Forensics experts found more than 500 indecent images on his computer - including four showing penetration of a child and 42 images of bestiality.

During interviews on March 23 this year, he admitted pretending to be a 14-year-old girl, Paula Jones, when online, and using the webname "Stargazer" in his chats with Hawley and Skitt, who knew his real identity.

When asked about the chat logs from the little girl's rape, he pretended it was all fantasy.

Police were alerted to the paedophile by investigators in Canada.

In December 2006 the authorities arrested a man who had traded sick images of children across the Atlantic with Lennon.

They tracked an email account,, to him.

Merseyside Police detectives raided the teacher's home in Warwick Avenue, Crosby, Merseyside, in September last year and he was arrested.

A trawl of his computer revealed his horrific encounters with Skitt and Hawley.