A FORMER deputy head teacher said ‘he had no favourites’ as he denied claims he sexually abused pupils, a jury was told.

Preston Crown Court heard how 70-year-old Grahame Brennand, who taught at St John’s Primary School, Baxenden, said he never ‘rubbed his groin’ against pupils.

When questioned by defence barrister Jacob Dyer, Brennand said if he leaned over to help children it was ‘impossible’ for his groin to come into contact with children in their chairs.

Mr Dyer said there had been accusations of Brennand pushing his groin against the girls.

The 70-year-old said: “That did not happen.”

He also denied touching the groin of female students and said never touched puplils ‘under their clothing’, the court heard.

Under questioning Brennand was asked if he had any ‘favourites’ among his pupils.

He said: “Some students always do more.

“For one autumn art project one girl brought in dead leaves and was called a teachers pet.

“It is just what happens in junior school.”

He also commented how in general boys were the generally the worst behaved students in his class.

Brennand said: “Most of the time it was boys at that age and most of the time it was minor things.

“If it was really serious I would give them a smack on the leg.
“Many years I did not have to administer this.”

The court was also told about the classroom layout and the store room, where offences were alleged to have taken place.

Brennand said in the room there was ‘no space’ for either an adult or child to lie down in it, the court heard.

He said the cupboard also ‘remained open all the time so all the pupils could see’.

Under questioning by Mr Dyer, Brennand said he ‘very rarely’ went into the room and pupils only went in during colouring sessions and wet play times.

The court also heard Brennand held first aid classes both in lesson and after school.

He said at times there would be ‘occasional physical contact’ to help them find their heartbeat but ‘everything he taught was from a St John Ambulance school training course he attended’, the jury heard.

The court heard how pupils would use computers in the resource room ‘in pairs or small groups’ as they used two mathematics games.

Brennand said he would ‘lean over them to help’ but had no physical contact with his lower body, the jury was told.

Brennand, of Calder Avenue, Preston, pleaded not guilty to 48 counts of indecent assault and four of cruelty to a person under 16.

The case continues.