Headmaster Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Young Boy

A headmaster took a boy into his bed and sexually assaulted him during a school trip, a court heard yesterday. Christopher Barker, 45, a headteacher in Wrexham, is accused of abusing the schoolboy on five separate occasions. Mold Crown Court heard Barker had developed an “unusually close and affectionate” relationship with the child.

During a school trip he is alleged to have found the young boy wandering a corridor, saying he wanted his mother to tuck him into bed.

John Philpotts, prosecuting, said, “Mr Barker found the complainant awake and out of bed. The boy said he was trying to get to sleep and his mother usually tucked him in.

“He took the boy to his own room and initially put him in a separate single bed. After a while, hearing the boy moving around, still awake, Mr Barker put him in his own bed before pulling down his pyjama bottoms and, in the boy’s own words, began ‘fiddling with his private’.”

The court heard that during the same trip Barker, from Dodleston, Cheshire, is alleged to have entered the child’s room and touched him sexually while he lay in his bunk bed.

Barker, who has been headteacher at the school for the past nine years, is also accused of sexually assaulting the child during a one-to-one lesson.

Giving evidence via a video link, the boy claimed he was made to lie in Barker’s lap while the teacher touched his genitals.

When asked how it made him feel, the boy said, “I thought, I don’t like it.”

The court heard teachers were advised to take such lessons in public areas, but Barker had ignored the advice and taken the child to a secluded room.

Barker in police interview conceded that working with the child alone behind closed doors was an unwise thing to do.

The jury heard Barker was arrested after the child told his mother the teacher had touched his genitals while fixing a broken zip on his trousers.

Barker is also accused of sexually assaulting the boy while putting his jumper on, in a separate incident.

And the final count centred on an allegation that during a school lunch break the boy told the headmaster that the fastening on his trousers was broken.

In the course of doing temporary repairs it was alleged that the defendant took the opportunity to touch the boy’s genital area over his trousers.

He denies all the allegations.

Mr Philpotts said that in most respects, Barker discharged his duty in the position of headmaster extremely well.

He had a good relationship with the governors and staff, was keen in his work, and he appeared to have the best interests of the school for which he was responsible at heart.

But he had found himself in the dock of a crown court before a judge and jury following sexual allegations by one of his pupils.

Mr Philpotts told the jury there was no way the child could have made up the allegations as they were too detailed.

He said, “Sadly there is no doubt that in many ways Mr Barker is an effective, caring teacher.

“The prosecution say that sadly – and it is sadly because there is no doubt that he was an effective and caring teacher – there is no rational explanation for the making of these allegations other than they are true.”

The trial, before Mr Recorder Anthony O’Toole, continues.