Sex accused head Anne Lakey 'was an inspired teacher'
A head teacher accused of having underage sex with two boys was an inspirational leader dedicated to helping young people, her trial has heard.
Anne Lakey, 55, denies 13 counts of indecent assault on two teenagers in the 1980s.
Opening her defence at Teesside Crown Court, Tim Robert QC said the jury had only heard half the evidence.
Her trial has heard she slept with two boys aged 15 and 13 or 14.
She is accused of taking their virginities then repeatedly having sexual relations with the teenagers at separate times at her home in Stanley while her then husband was away.
Mr Robert said Ms Lakey will give her account on Wednesday, and defence witnesses will give evidence that challenges the prosecution claims.
He told the jury: "She has been a dedicated teacher in the North East.
"In addition to that, she has been an inspirational leader to others in education and her personal attributes have achieved national recognition.
"The focus of her attention during her career has been to improve the opportunities available to young people in the former mining villages of North Durham."
He said because the alleged offences are more than 25-years-old the case comes down to "word against word".
The jury has heard Ms Lakey told police she did not have sex with the younger complainant and only had a sexual relationship with the older accuser when he was 18 and she was in her early 30s.
She told detectives: "I did not have sex with (the older complainant) when he was under 16, I am 100% certain."
The trial continues.