Vic­tim speaks out over teacher abuse

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - SI­MON LEN­NON

AWOMAN who was sex­u­ally as­saulted ‘count­less’ times by her teacher as a school­girl has spo­ken for the first time af­ter he was con­victed of sys­temic abuse of chil­dren.

She was mo­lested by Gra­haeme Bren­nand at St John’s pri­mary school in Bax­en­den when she was a pupil.

The 71-year-old com­mit­ted 26 in­de­cent as­saults in the 1970s and 1980s in­volv­ing nine girls and also faced three fur­ther charges of cru­elty against two boys. He was found guilty last week of all charges at Pre­ston Crown Court.

In Jan­uary in a separate trial the for­mer teacher was found guilty of 17 sex­ual as­saults on a fur­ther 13 girls. The ac­tual num­ber of of­fences was close to 200 as many of the counts in­cluded mul­ti­ple as­saults.

The twisted teacher also picked up and threw boys across the class­room as a way of dis­ci­plin­ing them if they mis­be­haved.

One of his vic­tims who has bravely de­cided to speak out told how the abuse led to her to suf­fer­ing de­pres­sion and a life- time of guilt.

His con­vic­tion ended a long quest for jus­tice af­ter she first told a teacher in her sec­ondary school and po­lice, who at first took no ac­tion.

Now we can re­veal she is su­ing Lan­cashire County Coun­cil over her or­deal.

The woman, who wishes to re­main anony­mous, said he ruled the class with fear and would of­ten beat the boys in front of the class with a ruler and they would cry as they got their beat­ings.

She said he was much nicer to girls but still very strict and he would use the ruse of check­ing her work to touch her from be­hind.

She said: “I could feel his breath hot on my neck and af­ter a while I knew what was com­ing.

“Look­ing back he was heavy breath­ing. He would put his hand down my top and other times he would put his hand down my skirt. But at the time I didn’t know any dif­fer­ent I thought it was nor­mal. But you couldn’t say any­thing as we were all fright­ened of him any­way.”

She added: “Look­ing back if makes me sick but I was a child I didn’t know it was wrong then.”

For­mer deputy head Gra­hame Bren­nand

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