Former Kineton teacher on trial over indecent assault charges

Former Kineton High School woodwork teacher Roland Midgley. NNL-170404-105600001
Former Kineton High School woodwork teacher Roland Midgley. NNL-170404-105600001

A former Kineton High School pupil was reminded of abuse from a former woodwork teacher while discussing his school days on social media, a jury has heard.

Retired teacher Roland Midgley, 72, of Warwick Road, in Southam, has been charged with offences against two former pupils in the 1980s. The second set of allegations, which were made several years earlier, were discovered by police during their investigation into the first set.

Midgley pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of indecently assaulting one boy when he was 12 and 13, and one of indecently assaulting the other boy when he was 13.

Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said the charges in relation to the first boy reflected a course of conduct alleged to have taken place on a number of occasions.

But the fourth charge, which related to the other boy, was different because he says he was touched indecently by Midgley ‘on a single occasion.’

Mr Simpson said the offences are said to have taken place in the 1980s when Midgley was a woodwork teacher at Kineton High School, where he was also head of years one and two.

The first complainant said the abuse began after he was kicked in the groin, after which a note was sent instructing him to go to see Midgley in the woodwork room at lunchtime.

After being asked what had happened, he was told to follow Midgley into the office, where he was told to remove his trousers and underwear before being indecently touched, then told to ‘pull himself up’ and go back to class.

He said:“I was kind of shocked and kind of confused at the time. I had had that injury, and he was a teacher. So I thought, ‘do I trust what he did?’”

He said similar things happened ‘five, maybe six times’ while he was in the first two years at the school.

Asked what prompted him to report matters so many years later, he explained that he was taking part in a discussion about school in the 1980s on a social media site – and when Midgley’s name was mentioned, it brought it back to him.

He said that at first, feeling anger and upset, he sought help from a support organisation, and later decided to report matters to the police.

Lee Masters, defending, asked him: “Why didn’t you tell somebody, for example your form teacher?”

He replied: “I’m not sure.” He rejected a suggestion by Mr Masters that ‘it never happened.’

The jury heard it was alleged Midgley had indecently assaulted the other boy in a similar way after that boy had also been told to go and see him.

Years later, in 1999, that man had complained to the police, but Midgley was not charged and the matter lay dormant.

“But during the police investigation into the later allegations it came to light again, and the defendant was charged in relation to both men,” said Mr Simpson.

“The issue for you is either both of these men are telling the truth, or they’re not.”

The trial continues.