Nine counts in pupil sex case

Tony Brunskill
Tony Brunskill
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A FORMER teacher at a top Fleetwood school is expected to admit sexually assaulting one of his pupils.

Tony Brunskill has indicated he will plead guilty to nine counts of indecently assaulting a teenage boy at the town’s Rossall School when he appears before Carlisle Crown Court next week.

The 65-year-old appeared before the court yesterday dressed smartly in a grey suit, pale shirt and dark grey tie.

But during the short hearing Judge Paul Batty heard that Brunskill was not in a position to enter pleas to the charges against him for another seven days.

Brunskill taught in the junior department at the leading independent school during the 1970s and the offences are said to have occurred over a six-year period before he left the school in 1979.

During his time in Lancashire Brunskill was also well-known as a rally driver and was later marketing manager for Spacegrand Aviation at Blackpool Airport.

He went on to become a high-profile councillor in the Eden area of Cumbria and was also due to face charges of raping a Cumbrian boy and inciting him to engage in sexual activity between December 2007 and December 2010.

However, prosecuting council Bernadette Baxter told the court those charges had now been altered to one of sexually grooming the boy and seven of engaging in sexual activity with him – to which he is also expected to plead guilty.

She said the prosecution wanted to confirm the charges with the boys and their parents before going any further.

Defence barrister Kim Whittlestone confirmed that Brunskill would be pleading guilty to all those charges next week.

She said: “I can confirm that he will be pleading guilty.”

Brunskill, who lives at Salkeld Dykes, near Penrith, Cumbria, was remanded in custody until next Tuesday, when he is expected formally to enter those pleas.

The case is expected to be adjourned then for background reports before Brunskill is sentenced.

After leaving Rossall School Brunskill was chairman of Eden District Council, involved with the county’s Chamber of Commerce and ran his own PR firm.