Teacher breaks down in dock

Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson

A TEACHER accused of indecently assaulting children broke down under questioning and admitted some of his actions were inappropriate.

Peter Wilson, 35, from Bentley Green, Thornton, burst into tears at Preston Crown Court when asked about his relationship with his family in the wake of the allegations.

Wilson was suspended by his school in Blackpool after the alleged incidents.

While Wilson denied indecently touching children – rubbing his hand down their backs and kissing them on the cheek – he admitted hugging his own pupils.

He said: “They would only have read for approximately one and a half to two minutes, and I would say thank you and write in their diaries and close the book, say they’ve done really well, and give them a hug.”

Jeremy Lasker, prosecuting, said: “Until this time I was under the impression you were putting arms on their shoulders, but this time you are saying you are giving them hugs and I take it that you think this is appropriate?”

Wilson agreed with Mr Lasker his actions in this instance had been inappropriate, but denied the allegations against him of indecency.

He said: “I never kissed anybody.

“I don’t have affection for them. You have general cause for concern because you are in a caring profession, but not affection.”

Wilson broke down after being questioned about his relationship with his wife and if he had any gained any pleasure from touching the children who had made the allegations.

Mr George asked: “Did you ever feel any desire or sexual titillation by touching any of the children?”

Wilson said he did not.

The teacher is charged with 14 counts of sexual assault.

The jury was yesterday instructed on the judge’s direction, to return not guilty verdicts on three counts alleging sexual assault.

At the start of the defence case, Mr George said: “Mr Wilson doesn’t dispute there are occasions when he touches children and he says, entirely appropriately.

“On occasions he thought praising a child was a good idea, to encourage them and if they had done good work and, maybe at the same time, to pat them on the shoulders or clasp both shoulders together to say ‘well done’.

“Nowadays, it seems as if encouragement, a clasp of the shoulders, or a pat on the shoulders, or pat on the arm can be misunderstood and lead to someone like Mr Wilson becoming the subject of suspicion and a case of this sort.”

Mr Lasker said the children had no reason to make up their allegations.

In one of Wilson’s first interviews with police, he described the claims as “malicious lies” and not a misinterpretation of his actions.

Mr Lasker added: “This is not one clique or not one friendship group.

“None of them had any real problems with you.

“I’m going to suggest this is not malicious lies.”

(Proceeding)