Former teacher from Blackburn school QEGs 'abused pupils on camping trips'

John Mead

John Mead

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

A FORMER teacher has gone on trial accused of indecently assaulting pupils on camping trips.

John Mead, 76, is said to have had a ‘sinister motive’ for organising the games and excursions for boys under the age of 14 who were all students at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, in Blackburn, in the 1970s.

A court heard how one of the alleged victims had been left feeling ‘numb’ after Mead, from Sabden, allegedly got into bed with him and touched him inappropriately.

A second victim claimed he was assaulted when the defendant got into the shower with him more than once.

Robert Golinski, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, told the jury how on another occasion, the defendant made the youngsters in his care play a game of ‘monsters in the dark’ during which he grabbed another of the complainants, pulling him onto a bed.

Mead ‘emphatically’ denies six counts of indecent assault, claiming the allegations were ‘complete fantasy’, the court was told.

Mr Golinski said: “The prosecution say there is no question of this being some sort of accident or innocent fun.

“In the context of this case, it was a deliberate and sexual act by the defendant.”

The first alleged victim told the court how Mead drove a group of boys in his car to a hostel where he was abused as he slept alone in a dormitory.

He said Mead, of Timbrills Avenue, lay beside him before reaching over him and touching him.

The victim, who is now in his 50s, said: “I could not move, I could not talk. I felt trapped.

“I could not really process it. Numb would be the word.

“I experienced anxiety, shame and I had problems trusting. I had feelings of isolation.”

The complainant went on to tell the jury how his experience had an effect on him in later life.

The second alleged victim told police Mead, who taught physics and music, had indecently assaulted him on more than one occasion while he used the showers at a youth hostel.

Mr Golinski told the jury: “He recalls the defendant speaking to him in what the prosecution say was a completely inappropriate fashion about sexual matters.

“It was particularly inappropriate because John Mead was talking to him about sexual matters while the defendant was with him in the shower.

“The defendant used to encourage the boys to double up in the showers in order to save water and no doubt money. Doubling up for these youngsters was an embarrassing experience for the boys, but it was a bit more than that for this complainant because the defendant insisted he double up with him.

“The prosecution say he must have gained some sort of sexual gratification from that, but he also went on to touch the boy.”

The third alleged victim complained he was also assaulted on a trip to a hostel.

The prosecutor said the defendant encouraged the boys to play a game at night with all of the lights out, during which he grabbed the alleged victim, pulled him onto the bed and assaulted him.

Mr Golinski said: “It may well have seemed this was all pretty harmless fun, but the defendant had a rather more sinister motive for organising this game.”

The trial continues.

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