A FORMER deputy headteacher has been found guilty of sexually abusing primary school children.

Following two trials at Preston Crown Court Grahame Brennand, 71, was today found guilty of a total of 29 offences against 11 victims. Of those 26 offences were sexual assaults on girls and three were cruelty offences against boys.

In January the former teacher was found guilty of 17 sexual assaults on 13 girls.

Police said the actual number of offences was close to 200 as many of the counts included multiple assaults.

All of the abuse happened while Brennand worked at St John’s Primary School in Baxenden. He left the school in Church Avenue in 1989.

Prosecuting, Robert Golinski said Brennand ‘took advantage of his position in teaching’ to sexually and physically abuse his alleged victims.

The court heard how he would kiss girls, tell them to sit on his knee, rub himself up against them and touched their thighs. He also wore loose-fitting sports clothing while in the classroom.

Describing the offences, which took place over three decades when the victims were between seven and 11, Mr Golinski told the jury how the defendant locked one male pupil in a store room and rubbed dog mess in another’s nose. He also dangled a boy on a coat hook by his clothes and forced him to stand next to a radiator for an hour at a time.

Brennand, of Calder Avenue, Preston, who has been in custody since January, will be sentenced on October 12.

Speaking after the hearing, investigating Officer Keith Hill said: “First and foremost I commend the victims’ bravery in coming forward and re-living their ordeals in order to give evidence. It has been a long and emotional journey for everyone concerned that was made all the more challenging by the defendant’s claim that the victims had somehow colluded to invent all of the allegations.

“Grahame Brennand is a devious and arrogant man that took advantage of his position to abuse many children in his care and to carry out his perverted sexual interest in young girls, abuse which continued over many years.

“These convictions are due to the determination and courage of everyone involved in the investigation and hopefully will offer some closure for all those abused by Brennand over the years.

“Lancashire Police remains committed to investigating offences of this nature, no matter how historic, and we would encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence to come forward safe in the knowledge that they will be treated sensitively and professionally.”