May 2016

Former headteacher told to expect jail after being found guilty of indecent assault on girl

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A FORMER headteacher is facing a prison sentence after being found guilty of molesting a female pupil in the 1970s.

David Brinded, 73, of Church Road, West Hanningfield, stood trial on two counts of indecently assaulting the girl at Market Bosworth High School, Leicestershire, more than 40 years ago.

He was found guilty on one count on Friday by a jury at Leicester Crown Court.

Brinded, a former headteacher at North Crescent Primary School in Wickford and chair of the Essex Primary School Headteachers’ Association, was working as a French teacher at the time.

The victim, now in her mid 50s, told the jury Brinded touched her private parts over her underwear and pressed his groin against her neck and shoulders in class.

A friend told the jury she saw the teacher follow the victim into a store cupboard and close the door, with the victim coming out crying.

The classmate, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “I saw Mr Brinded lean over her with his hand between her legs.

“I felt then that it was wrong. Her face was bright red with embarrassment.”

The court also heard that Brinded repeated the abuse when the girl lost her plimsolls during a cross-country run and he carried her to the changing rooms, but he was acquitted of that charge.

Brinded, who has no previous convictions, told the jury the allegations were all untrue and he had never acted inappropriately towards a child.

The victim said she made a complaint at the time, with her parents summoned to school and the headmaster notified.

But Mary Prior, prosecuting, said the complaint was “swept under the carpet”.

Brinded told the court he remembered being told by the headmaster that a complaint had been made against him but was never told the nature of it.

Character witnesses described Brinded as a “dedicated teacher of high integrity” who always put the needs of children first and some spoke of his “inspirational” leadership qualities.

Releasing Brinded on bail, Judge Nicholas Dean QC adjourned sentencing to Friday, May 13, pending the preparation of a victim impact statement, but warned him to expect a custodial sentence.