Teacher gets 10 years’ jail

Tony Brunskill
Tony Brunskill
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A FORMER teacher has been jailed after admitting sex attacks on teenage pupils.

Tony Brunskill, who taught at plush private institution Rossall School in the 1970s, was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court for crimes which involved “the corruption and debauching” of boys for his own sexual gratification.

Judge Paul Batty QC told him he had shattered the lives of his victims and their families.

He added: “You have caused untold damage to countless people.

“You were and are a sexual predator. The boys you targeted will have to live with what you did to them for the rest of their lives. You corrupted and debauched those boys. You showered them with gifts and treats with just one aim – to fulfil your perverted sexual urges.”

Bernadette Baxter, prosecuting, told the court Brunskill pleaded guilty to a total of 20 offences – nine for indecently assaulting a teenaged pupil boy at Rossall School in Fleetwood, where he was an English teacher in the 1970s; three of indecently assaulting a younger boy there; one of sexually grooming a boy near Penrith and seven of sexual activity with him.

She said he used his interest in motor sport to befriend the schoolboys, and once he had done so he committed a series of sexual crimes on them.

The older boy told the police his teacher had abused him up to once a week for nearly five years.

She added: “Throughout his life the effects of this abuse have been profound on him.

“It has affected all aspects of his life.

“It has been responsible for emotional turmoil and marriage break-downs and has thwarted career opportunities.”

The court heard it was only after receiving counselling in his mid 40s the victim felt able to talk about what had happened.

The court heard three charges reflected specific incidents on another eight-year-old boy at Rossall.

Brunskill molested him once in the dormitory at bedtime, once on a camping trip and once at a Halloween party.

The boy escaped any further abuse by “kicking up a fuss” with his parents, persuading them to let him move to another school – though he did not tell them why he was not happy at Rossall.

Ms Baxter said the first victim – now a man in his 50s - reported the abuse to the police on November 2010, which, by coincidence, was just six days before the Cumbrian boy also went to the police.

Kim Whittlestone, defending, admitted there was not much she could say in Brunskill’s favour.

She added: “He has not tried to minimise the effects of these terrible offences.

“He fully accepts that his victims are telling the truth. He is ready and prepared for a very lengthy custodial sentence.”

But, she said, there was “another side” to Brunskill, which he had shown through his work in the community.

She added: “Being the figure that he was, there will have been some people he upset, but he did do an awful lot of work for charity and for the local community.”

The court was also told during his time at Durham Prison a fellow inmate had attacked him during an educational session

The former Cumbrian councillor and public relations professional was jailed for 10 years and made to register as a sex offender for life and banned from ever working with children.

He was also banned indefinitely from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 and banned from working – either paid or voluntarily – in any position which might bring him into contact with young people.