Rothbury man on trial for indecent assaults

A Rothbury man is accused of indecently assaulting three girls while he was a teacher, a jury heard today.

Joseph Kinnear, 59, of Newtown, is standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court this week accused of 13 offences which date back to between 1975 and 1982 when the girls, who were pupils at Hexham Middle School and Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School, Rothbury, were aged between 11 and 14 years old.

Opening the case prosecutor Michael Hodson described Kinnear as a man who ‘seduced young girls to gratify his own sexual demands while at the same time appearing to be the most caring and dedicated of teachers’.

Mr Hodson told the court that Kinnear had previously been convicted of serious sexual assaults on under-age schoolgirls for which he was sent to prison.

The court heard that Kinnear took after-school classes and ‘charmed’ parents, governors and staff.

One alleged victim, who gave evidence but cannot be named for legal reasons, said that between June 1975 and June 1979 Kinnear kissed her in the staff changing room at an after-school gym club, lay on top of her in the staff room, and sexually touched her.

The court heard that Kinnear gave her lifts home and at one point told her to say she had a headache and go to her room when they returned.

He then followed her to her bedroom and touched her.

Alleged incidents also took place in the car.

She said: ““What he did was wrong and I should have come forward a long time ago.

“I have lived the year from hell and have had to cope with how this is making me feel.

“I never ever wanted to have to tell anybody.”

She added: “I always did what he said. I was in love with him, he told me he was my boyfriend.”

But she said she was told not to tell anyone about them.

But in cross-examination defence barrister Mark Barlow claimed that Kinnear did none of these things.

Mr Barlow said Kinnear had given all pupils at card on their birthday, sang happy birthday and gave them a kiss.

The trial continues tomorrow.