Former trustee of private boarding school went to 'extreme lengths' to abuse teenager, court hears

The former principal trustee of a private boarding school carried out sexual abuse on five separate children between 1982 and 2010, a court has heard.

Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

Brian Martin, who was once chairman of the governors at Queen Ethelburga’s school in York, went to “extreme lengths” to groom one boy who was aged between 14 and 15, prosecutors allege.

A court heard how the defendant owned the land in Thorpe Underwood, York, on which the school was once based, giving him “access to children”.

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At the start of the 68-year-old’s trial at Leeds Crown Court, jurors were told how he lied to the boy by telling him he had the opportunity to meet a celebrity, before stripping him naked in order to check for needle marks as he was “insistent” he could not bring anyone who did drugs.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Mark McKone claimed the incident “shows the extreme lengths the defendant was prepared to go to get (the boy) on his own so as to satisfy his sexual desires”.

The court also heard how the defendant later told the boy, who did work for him but did not attend the school, that the celebrity wanted a picture of him naked. Martin later sexually assaulted the boy as he came out of the shower following an event at his home before taking him out in his “flashy car” and abusing him, prosecutors claim.

The court was also heard how Martin’s advances towards the boy got increasingly sexual and extreme in their nature.

During an interview, the alleged victim said: “Sometimes he would try to kiss me, sometimes try to massage me, have me massage him.”

He later added that he was sure that “75 per cent” of the supposed incidents happened before he was 16 years old, adding that the last time he was abused was when he was 19.

Martin denies 10 counts of indecent assault, one count of making indecent images, three of attempted serious sexual assault, one of a serious sexual assault, three of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, three of sexual activity with a child, and three of sexual assault.

The trial continues.