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Abuse claims at QEGS are ‘fantasy’, jury told
A ‘SLIGHTLY eccentric’ former teacher who allegedly abused boys on school trips said the allegations were ‘fantasy’.
John Mead, who taught physics and music at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, in Blackburn, told a jury the only conclusion he could reach was that the complainants were ‘lying’ about being indecently assaulted by him in the 1970s.
The 76-year-old is accused of touching one boy in the showers as they got washed together on multiple occasions, grabbing another child during a game of ‘monsters in the dark’ and getting into bed with a third youngster on separate trips to youth hostels.
Mead, of Timbrills Avenue, Sabden, said he had no memory of any such incidents ever occurring.
Andrew Nuttall, for the defendant, asked him: “Were you ever aware of any concerns or worries or anything of that kind throughout the whole time, right through until you left?”
“No,” replied Mead, who denies six counts of indecent assault on boys under 14. Robert Golinski, prosecuting, put it to the witness that the reason he had no recollection of the abuse was because he had been able to put it behind him.
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Mr Golinski added that the three alleged victims, who are unknown to each other, had all come forward and accused Mead despite his name not being made public before he was charged.
The barrister said: “The reason why these witnesses have come forward and the reason why they are saying what they do say and the reason why we are here is because they are telling the truth about what happened.”
“They are not telling the truth,” Mead said.
Mr Golinski continued: “You took the opportunity, not all the time, not with hundreds of pupils, but with these pupils on these trips, to abuse them and take advantage of them sexually.”
“No,” said the defendant.
Mead also denied having instigated games of strip poker or urinating competitions.
The court heard statements from witnesses who said they had also been on trips and had not experienced anything inappropriate.
Mr Nuttall, reading a testimonial from a former pupil, said: “I have happy memories of QEGS and particularly the trips with Mr Mead. He helped give me a life-long love of mountain-eering and fell walking.”
Another said: “I would say that he was slightly eccentric. I never saw or heard anything of any impropriety on the part of Mr Mead.”