A former English teacher at a Gloucester secondary school has been convicted of six offences of molesting two boy pupils in the 1980s and is to be sentenced in April, writes John Hawkins.
George Haynes, 69, of Church Lane, Northampton, had pleaded not guilty at Gloucester Crown Court to a total of 11 charges – ten relating to a boy at the Gloucester school between 1980-1984 and one to a boy at a school in Leicester where Haynes later worked in 1985/86.
At the end of a trial held at the ‘Nightingale’ court in Cirencester this week the jury found Haynes guilty of five indecent assaults on the Gloucester boy but could not agree on five other charges concerning him – two of indecent assault and three of gross indecency – and was discharged from returning verdicts on them.
Haynes was also convicted of the one charge against him of indecently assaulting the Leicester boy.
The names of the two schools involved cannot be reported by court order.
Judge Ian Lawrie QC bailed Haynes until sentencing on April 9 so that a pre-sentence report can be prepared.
Prosecutor Don Tait had told the jury of nine men and three women at the start of the trial that the allegations all came to light when a man contacted Gloucester Police in April 2016 alleging he had been assaulted by his English teacher during the 1980s.
“School records were subsequently obtained and they show that the complainant was at the Gloucester school between September 1980 and July 1987,” said Mr Tait.
The jury were told that the school records were checked and it was found that Mr Haynes taught at the Gloucester school between September 1977 and August 1985.
As part of the enquiry, it was discovered that Leicestershire Police had investigated Mr Haynes in 2013 on suspicion in committing similar offences in that area, said Mr Tait.
The court was told that the Gloucester victim had been seen by a psychiatrist in 1990 with issues over sexual uncertainty. During the course of his consultation he revealed that he had a series of sexual encounters with a school teacher when he was aged 13.
Mr Haynes denied committing any offences against the Gloucester victim. He also maintained he had no recollection of the boy in Leicester and described his account as ‘pure fabrication and lies.’
The Gloucester victim said in his evidence: “I have spent most of my adult life trying to convince myself it didn’t happen. I remember the physical acts from 40 years ago and the location, but little else in detail.”
It emerged during the trial that Haynes had a conviction for indecent assault of a child in 1993. He was found guilty in April 1994 of committing the assault while a teacher at Newlands Manor School at Seaford in Sussex.
He was jailed for this and has not been able to work as a teacher since. His employment subsequently was as an assistant in a book shop.
The Sussex school can be named as it is now longer trading and ceased operations in 2006.
Following the conviction of Haynes on the six charges this week, Gloucestershire Police Investigating officer Detective Constable Shona Fletcher said: “I would like to commend the bravery of George Haynes’ victims in coming forward and pursuing a criminal investigation against him.
“It takes a lot of courage to report something that happened historically and I hope that the guilty verdict for six of the counts will give his victims and others peace of mind in knowing that he has now been convicted.
“Haynes’ offending took place during the 1980s. Haynes committed the offences at two schools he taught at during this time both in Gloucester and Leicestershire.
“After a careful investigation we were able to successfully charge him with a number of offences and he was found guilty of committing four counts of indecent assault on a male and two counts of indecency with a child.
“Gloucestershire Constabulary takes all reports of recent child sexual abuse with the upmost importance and I would like to urge any victims of these offences to reach out and report what happened as it’s never too late to come forward.
“Anyone who wishes to report an incident to police can do so by calling 101 or completing the following online form: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/soh/seen-or-heard/
“Anyone who has been the victim of non-recent sexual abuse but doesn’t want to speak to police can also report this by contacting Gloucestershire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0300 421 8400 and they can support you and discuss available options without police involvement.
“You can also contact the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) by calling 0808 800 5000.”