Former Rothbury teacher jailed for four years

Joseph Kinnear.
Joseph Kinnear.

A former teacher from Rothbury was today sentenced to four years and one month in prison for a string of indecent assaults on schoolgirls.

Last month, Joseph Kinnear, 59, of East Newtown Cottages, was convicted of nine counts of indecent assault at Newcastle Crown Court.

He was found not guilty by the jury of nine women and three men of a further five counts following nine days of evidence. He had denied all of the allegations.

The charges relate to three different victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and date back to between 1975 and 1982 when Kinnear was a teacher at Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School in Rothbury and Beaumont Middle School, Hexham.

He was previously convicted of a series of similar offences in 2006 and was sentenced to seven years in prison. The court took this into account today as the offences related to the same places and era.

Referring to the victims having to tell of what happened to them in court, Judge Simon Hickey said: “You were painted, in my judgement, Joseph Kinnear, in your true colours by those young women who had to relive those experiences.”

Kinnear is also to be barred from working with children or vulnerable adults for life.

For full story, see next Thursday’s Northumberland Gazette.