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Former Thatcham teacher appears in court to face historic sex charges

Former Kennet School teacher denies three counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child

John Garvey

Reporter:

John Garvey

Former Thatcham teacher appears in court to face historic sex charges

A THATCHAM school teacher carried out a series of depraved sexual assaults on former pupils, a court heard this week.

In the dock at Reading Crown Court was 62-year-old Robert Alan Neill of Park Lane, Thatcham, who faces charges of sexual offences against three boys aged 12 or 13 years - none of whom can be identified - between 1986 and 1995 when he worked as a teacher at Kennet School in Thatcham.

Mr Neill denies three counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child under the guise of boosting their confidence or giving them education about sex and sexual positions.

Opening the case for the prosecution on Monday, Simon Ash told jurors Mr Neill targeted one of the boys when his parents informed him they feared their son was a fantasist whose “strange imagination” conjured up tall stories.

Mr Ash said: “Mr Neill started to pay more attention to him. He suggested to the parents he should see their son on an ongoing basis so he could help him. He told (the boy) he could help him grow as a person and said he believed him, even if his parents didn’t.

“One day he took (the boy) into a storeroom and asked if he had ever masturbated. They had not previously discussed anything of a sexual nature and (the boy) was confused. The defendant explained it was a pleasurable thing to do and would make (the boy) feel better about himself.”

He added: “Mr Neill put (the boy’s) right hand on his, the teacher’s, left knee. He kept hold of (the boy’s) wrist and moved his hand into his (Mr Neill’s) groin and rubbed it against his penis.”

Jurors heard Mr Neill then said: “This is between us; we will talk again.”

He added that the boy initially told no one “because he was worried people would think he was making it up.”

Mr Neill also targeted a second child, the court heard, asking him to “come for a chat” in the science block classroom before asking him his thoughts on girls.

Mr Ash said: “(The boy) hadn’t had much to do with girls, and was embarrassed.”

Jurors heard Mr Neill then persuaded the boy to turn round “so he could show him what to do.”

For full coverage of the court case to date, pick up a copy of this week’s Newbury Weekly News. See NewburyToday.co.uk for more on this case as it develops.

(Picture: copyright Stan Kujuwa)

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