Mary Hare Grammar School for the Deaf is accused as man is jailed for sex with 12-year-old

A CULTURE of under-age sex involving girls as young as 12 flourished at a top Newbury school – while staff turned a blind eye, a judge said yesterday (Monday).

A CULTURE of under-age sex involving girls as young as 12 flourished at a top Newbury school – while staff turned a blind eye, a judge said yesterday (Monday).
Judge Richard Parkes made his damning comments about unchecked promiscuity at Mary Hare Grammar School for the Deaf, Snelsmore, as he jailed a former pupil for sleeping with teenage girls.
The £35,000 per annum, fee-paying school is internationally renowned and caters for around 240 pupils aged five to 19 years.
After reading police and probation reports, Judge Parkes described the “promiscuous culture” among under 16s at the school and told Aeron Mazija, who was 18 at the time: “All of the victims and, indeed, yourself were at a school where consensual sexual relationships between underage pupils was commonplace. Sexual relationships were the norm. You had no appreciation or awareness of the implications of having underage sex.
“Relationships between pupils of different ages was not discouraged at the school and as a result of this, there were many examples of underage sex. It is fair to say that pupils were rather promiscuous. Underage sex was not that seriously treated at the school. There were many warning signs about your behaviour which were not picked up on.”
Judge Parkes added: “You were let down by those in authority.”
The judge was told that Mazija had once been caught having sex with a 16-year-old girl on the school stage when he was aged just 14 years but police were not called in.
Mazija, now aged 20 years, of Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey, admitted having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl whilst in short relationships with both. An interpreter for the deaf translated for him what the judge was saying as he was jailed for three years.
The court heard he first had sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was aged 18 years, and later began another sexual relationship – this time with a 12-year-old pupil.
Judge Parkes, sitting at Reading Crown Court, heard both girls had been “enthusiastic and willing” participants and had even used webcams for their “mutual gratification.”
The under-age sex details did not come to light until he was arrested for indecently assaulting a 17-year-old girl in 2009 after he had left the school, the court heard.
Judge Parkes added: “The offences you have admitted are very serious ones. By maintaining that they (the victims) were consenting portrays an attitude of mind that explains your offending. Children are not in a position to make a decision on sex, that’s why the law is there.
“There is a significant risk to that section of the public of you re-offending.”
After the case, principal Tony Shaw vehemently rejected the judge’s comments.
He said he would not be resigning and pointed out that the mitigation concerning the alleged culture of unchecked promiscuity had been made without the school having any redress.
Mr Shaw added: “Everything that was offered in mitigation was thus not subject to adversorial testing. Had we been involved, we would have challenged it. We’ve had no complaint from any family in this regard since I was appointed in 1992 and that covers 750 families.
“We’ve been inspected by the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate and by its successor agency, Ofsted Care, annually since 2003. That’s a total of eight inspectors and on each occasion, confidential questionnaires were sent to pupils and never has this annual process ever raised the issue that was used in mitigation.”