Former Northumberland teacher denies indecently assaulting schoolgirls

Joseph Kinnear, 59, of East Newtown Cottages, Morpeth, Northumberland, is facing 14 charges of indecent assault which are said to have occurred between 1975 and 1982

Joseph Kinnear is on trial at Newcastle Crown Court
Joseph Kinnear is on trial at Newcastle Crown Court

A former teacher has denied indecently assaulting three schoolgirls more than 30 years ago.

Joseph Kinnear, 59, of East Newtown Cottages, Morpeth, Northumberland, is facing 14 charges of indecent assault which are said to have occurred between 1975 and 1982.

The alleged offences relate to three girls who were aged between 11 and 14 at the time.

Yesterday Kinnear pleaded not guilty to all charges and a trial began at Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Michael Hodson told the jury that the defendant had previously been convicted of sexual offences against underage schoolgirls and had served a jail sentence.

The new allegations had come to light since then.

Mr Hodson said: “At the time he appeared to be the most caring and dedicated of teachers. He was one of those teachers who was prepared to go far beyond what ordinary run-of-the-mill teachers were prepared to do.

Mr Kinnear took the children abroad, ran gym clubs, ski clubs, soccer clubs and youth clubs.

“He charmed teachers, governors and his home community in Rothbury with the flamboyance and flair of what everybody thought was an exceptional man and exceptional teacher.

“But all the while underneath he had this flaw, behaving in a way that used the opportunities that he had to get closer and closer to girls, whilst at the same time being able to seduce parents and governors into believing he could do absolutely no wrong.”

One of the alleged victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wept as she gave evidence at the trial.

She said she joined an after-school gym club run by Kinnear, who would often drop her off after the sessions finished.

She added: “He was really kind, friendly and slightly flirtatious, easy going, easy to talk to. There was an undercurrent of jealousy amongst us. Sometimes he would pay more attention to some girls as opposed to others and would ignore you for a while.

“I loved him, he made me feel special. I worshipped the ground he walked on. He told me he was my boyfriend but that I had to keep it a secret.”

However, she told the jury there had been indecent assault incidents in his car, in her home and in a staff changing room.

She also claimed Kinnear would give girls birthday kisses in the staff changing room with the door closed.

The trial continues.

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