From Fagin to school pervert

Tony Brunskill taught in the junior department at Fleetwood's Rossall School during the 1970s
Tony Brunskill taught in the junior department at Fleetwood's Rossall School during the 1970s
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A FORMER schoolmaster – who once starred as Fagin in a school play – has been warned he faces a “significant” jail sentence after he admitted sexually assaulting a pupil.

Tony Brunskill taught English in the junior department of Rossall School during the 1970s.

And yesterday he pleaded guilty to a string of “cynical” crimes, including indecently assaulting a boy while he was working there.

The nine offences happened over a six-year period before Brunskill left the school in 1983.

The 65-year-old, who went on to become a high-profile businessman in Cumbria, was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register when he appeared before Carlisle Crown Court yesterday.

As well as indecently assaulting a boy at Rossall, Brunskill also admitted eight charges – one of meeting a Cumbrian boy after sexual grooming and seven of sexual activity with him between 2008 and 2010.

Brunskill, who now lives at Salkeld Dykes, near Penrith in Cumbria, sat in the dock wearing a grey suit, pale shirt and dark tie for his hearing, which lasted 10 minutes.

Judge Paul Batty told him his crimes had involved “the cynical corruption and debauching” of the boys for his own sexual gratification.

He said: “Be under no illusion, you face a significant custodial sentence”

During his time at Rossall School Brunskill was well-known locally as a rally driver, regularly competing in international events.

And in 1971, he starred as loathsome Fagin in the school’s production of Oliver.

He spent 12 years at Rossall School before leaving to become marketing manager for a Blackpool-based airline.

He later went on to become chairman of Eden district council and run his own Cumbria-based PR firm.

Brunskill was remanded in custody for background reports and will be sentenced on Friday, July 29.