Man 90 accused of historic sex crimes describes claims as impossible

A 90-year-old retired teacher accused of the historic sex abuse of a pupil at an Ashfield approves school vehemently denied the offences, a court heard.

Friday, 27th January 2017, 3:19 pm
Updated Friday, 27th January 2017, 3:21 pm

Dennis Young appeared at Nottingham Crown Court this morning on the third day of his trial for the offences alleged to have taken place at Skegby Hall around 60 years ago.

The court heard a transcript of his police interviews where he said the offences including gross indecency and sexually abusing the 10 year old boy in the bath and in bed would have been impossible for him to have done.

He denied having a sexual interest in young boys.

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The jury heard from DC Collette Melrose who interviewed him following his arrest in December 2015.

She said she was an officer in Operation Equinox looking at cases of historic child abuse, part of a team in a wider inquiry.

When first interviewed at York Police Station Young told her he had no memory of the complainant.

He said he had been single all his life and had never had a sexual relationship as he suffered from a genetic condition he did not want to pass on.

Young described himself has having a normal sexuality.

He said he could remember staff during his time at Skegby but not that individual pupil.

He said virtually every one of them was there because they had committed a crime. There were 42 boys aged 8-13 there at the time the offences are alleged to have taken place.

Young said the approved school was to keep them ‘out of circulation’. They were resentful of authority, some were thieves, some arsonists, one had committed murder.

During his second interview in June 2016 , a transcript of which was read out during the prosecution evidence on Friday morning, Young was told of the allegation he had taken pleasure in washing the boys genitals in the bath.

Young told the officer part of his role was to supervise the boys when they bathed themselves and to make sure they did so safely.

At bathtime a teacher would watch to make sure they were washing their faces and hands and make sure they didn’t come to any harm.

If a child was upset he told the officer: “ I would pick them up and hug them.

“ I know that is not allowed now.

In a later interview he said he had rubbed medication on the boys’ knees to prevent them being chapped in the winter.

But he said he never washed them or touched them on the body. He said there were never any occasions when there was one boy with one member of staff unobserved.

It was put to him that he had touched the boy intimately and asked him to do the same to him.

He said; ”The situation I am now in we were fully aware of even in those days. No teacher would get themselves involved in that sort of situation.

“The boys were witty enough not to tolerate that sort of thing.”

Another allegation Young faces is that he simulated sex while naked in bed with the alleged victim while he was alone in a bedroom he shared with another boy.

But Young said Skegby Hall had four dormitories over two floors which had about 10 boys in each and there were no rooms with two beds in as claimed.

He said the claims were “fantastically ridiculous and added the circumstances and setup of the whole school was against the opportunity for one adult and one child to be together unsupervised.

He told the officer:“The lads were against us reality. This would have been absolutely impossible - we were wary of circumstance were we would get into trouble.

“It was a hostile environment for us to work in and if they had the chance to get me into trouble they would have taken it .”

When it was put to hem that he had threatened the boy with borstal when he did not comply with his abuse or had rewarded him with sweets, he said:

“There were no threats, when i went there I was left with 42 lads and I had to dominate them and make sure they observed the rules I had to establish my authority.

He said in those days it was within the law to used physical punishment and he had on one occasion used his slipper.

The case continues.