Sex attack teacher Joseph Kinnear convicted of nine assaults

Former Rothbury Middle School teacher Joseph Kinnear has been found guilty of more assaults on young girls

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

A teacher who has already served a jail term for sex offences against children is facing more years behind bars after being convicted of a string of indecent assaults against girls.

Former Rothbury Middle School teacher Joseph Kinner, who was previously jailed for over seven years for offences against children, denied the latest allegations and claimed his victims - who were abused between 1975 and 1982 - were telling a “pack of lies.”

But after more than six hours of deliberations, the jury of three men and nine women unanimously returned three guilty and five not guilty verdicts, and majority guilty verdicts on four more counts, to add to their two earlier guilty verdicts last Friday.

Judge Simon Hickey told Kinnear he now faces further prison time when he is sentenced on November 8.

“You have been convicted of serious offences of indecency against what were very young girls, albeit some time ago,” he said.

“The sentence that follows must be prison.”

Kinnear, 59, of East Newtown Cottages in Morpeth, Northumberland, had pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges he faced at his trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

He told the court his alleged victims were either “mistaken” or telling a “pack of lies.” He said: “I’m not a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I’m not a wolf of any description.”

But prosecutor Michael Hodson told the jury Kinnear had manipulated girls and abused them at a school, in his car and at one of the girls’ homes.

“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,” Mr Hodson said.

“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.”

The jury also heard that the defendant took children abroad, ran gym clubs, ski clubs, soccer clubs and youth clubs and developed close relationships with some girls.

Kinnear admitted that he would give young girls a ‘birthday kiss’ in front of the class.

It was alleged, however, that Kinnear gave other kisses behind closed doors and when he pulled over into secluded spots when he took young girls home.

He told the jury girls in his class were given the option of whether they wanted a “peck on the lips” for their birthday and he didn’t believe it was inappropriate.

He denied any of the kisses took place in his car or in private at the school.

Kinnear was initially jailed for nine years in 2007 after being found guilty of 13 charges of indent assault against three children between 1979 and 1982. The sentence was later reduced to seven years after the Court of Appeal judged the sentence too severe.

He was released from jail in 2010, leading to criticism from one of his victims.

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