Teacher denies 14 sex assault charges

Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson
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A BLACKPOOL teacher indecently touched six children, a court was told.

The behaviour of Peter Wilson, 35, was alleged to have been “wholly inappropriate” over a number of months.

He is accused of touching his alleged victims and of kissing and hugging some of them between November 2009 and April last year.

Wilson, of Bentley Green, Thornton, was suspended from his school in Blackpool – which cannot be named for legal reasons – after two of the youngsters told a teacher about the incidents.

Jeremy Lasker, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court up to the point of his suspension the defendant was regarded as “a well-liked and well-respected member of staff”.

He said: “It is the Crown’s case that over a number of months the defendant behaved in a wholly inappropriate manner.

“This behaviour occurred for the most part when children were walking past.

“The Crown say if all the allegations are true then the defendant’s actions made them feel extremely uncomfortable when they were in his presence.

“Not only did he fall short of the standards expected from a teacher and the trust placed in him but he was over a period of several months behaving towards these children in an overtly sexual manner.”

The prosecutor said one of the children told her mother the defendant was a “pervert”.

Wilson denies 14 counts of sexual assault.

Mr Lasker said all the charges, bar one, were specimen counts which reflected examples of repeated behaviour.

He said the youngsters gave similar accounts of Wilson rubbing his hand down their backs or leaning close to them before patting them.

Mr Lasker added: “The gist of what one child told the police was ‘he would have an arm around us, around our waist.

‘He would squeeze us a bit closer and was hugging us. It did not feel right’.”

She continued: ‘We knew it was wrong, we would talk about it.’”

Mr Lasker told members of the jury they would have to determine if the allegations were “gossip” with no foundation or, as the prosecution said, there was a real and factual basis to the claims.

Following his arrest Wilson denied any wrongdoing.

“He described to the officers what were in his view the appropriate boundaries,” Mr Lasker said.

“He said he tried not be alone and not to touch a child.”

The prosecutor said a number of people would be called to give evidence and will say there was nothing they witnessed that caused them concern.

Wilson went on to tell police four of his accusers were lacking confidence and self-esteem and needed to be praised.

Mr Lasker said: “The summary of his final position was that his job was a caring profession and that all these allegations were made up by the children and they were probably malicious.”

All six complainants are due to give evidence, along with their parents, in a trial scheduled to last two weeks.