Neil Foden: Former headteacher who 'abused trust' jailed for 'shocking' sex offences against four girls

A former headteacher has been jailed for 17 years for sexual offences against four girls.

Neil Foden, of Old Colwyn, was found guilty in May after a three-week trial at Mold Crown Court in North Wales.

The 66-year-old was at the time headteacher at Ysgol Friars school in Bangor, Gwynedd.

He was found guilty of 19 charges in total - including 12 counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.

He was also convicted of one count each of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence, sexual communication with a child, possession of indecent photographs of a child for show and sexual assault of a child under the age of 13.

He will serve two-thirds of the sentence in jail, before he is released on licence.

'Dreadful secret'

Sentencing him on Monday, Judge Rowlands said Foden was "a man looked up to by many in the education system" but who had "managed to hide a dreadful secret".

He said Foden took advantage of young girls "repeatedly" in order to satisfy his "depraved, sexual needs".

"You were in a position of trust as regards the children who were in your care," he added. "It is clear that you have no remorse, you've not shown an ounce of contrition for what you did and you have no insight into the undoubted very serious harm that you've caused both to the individual victims and their families."

Judge Rowlands said Foden was "a forceful, bullying presence" in his school - a man who "people were afraid of crossing".

He added Foden recognised the vulnerability of his victims. But he added: "Yet you still deliberately targeted them."

Foden became headteacher of Ysgol Friars in 1997 and was later drafted in to "oversee a second school". He also served as a union rep.

He was arrested on 6 September last year at his place of work.


The court heard personal victim statements from the four complainants.

Two were read out in person, while the others were read by the prosecution on the victims' behalf.

One victim said she "felt lucky" that Foden has been found guilty and that she will "never have to see him again".

"Foden has affected how I see and view relationships," said another.

Another said she doesn't think she will "ever recover fully from this".

While a fourth said what Foden had done was "evil".

"It's hit me hard and I will never forgive him," her statement read.

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'Shock and revulsion'

The trial heard he had abused the four complainants, who cannot be identified, over a period of four years.

The jury returned guilty verdicts and cleared Foden of one count of sexual activity with a child on Wednesday 15 May at Mold Crown Court.

Gareth Evans, the assistant chief constable of North Wales Police, said the force shared "the shock and revulsion of our communities towards his actions".

"I can't overstate the impact that this has had on our communities, and particularly on young people in the area," he said.

"I encourage anyone who has suffered sexual violence in the past to come forward. We are here to listen. We are here to support you. We will do our best for you."

Ceri Ellis-Jones, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "We welcome the sentence passed today and hope that this provides comfort to the victims knowing that Foden has now been brought to justice."

After he passed sentence, Judge Rowlands commended the police "for the thoroughness of their investigation".

He also said he wished "to place on record the court's admiration for the individual victims and, indeed, their families for their courage in coming forward".