Primary school teacher ‘tried to rape young girl and sexually assaulted seven other pupils’

May 14, 2013 | by | 0 Comments
Supply teacher John Alway pictured arriving at Bristol Crown Court

Supply teacher John Alway pictured arriving at Bristol Crown Court

A primary school teacher attempted to rape a young girl and sexually assaulted seven other pupils, a court heard.

John Alway, 60, is alleged to have touched all of the students – the youngest only nine – on a number of occasions as he worked as a supply teacher.

He allegedly attempted to rape one youngster as he pinned her down naked in a locked classroom, Bristol Crown Court heard.

On other occasions he is accused of touching the girl as she was sharpening pencils and sitting her on his lap to kiss and cuddle her.

One alleged victim told police she felt his “clammy hands down her back” before he “squeezed her bottom”.

He initially stood trial in June but five more complainants came forward causing the case to be halted.

Alway, who worked as a substitute teacher at a number of schools in and around Bristol, denies the 23 charges against him.

He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted rape and 22 sexual assaults against eight girls between 1997 and 2004.

Ian Fenny, prosecuting, told the jury police were brought in after one youngster told her mother Alway of Bradley Stoke, Bristol, was “squidging” her bottom.

But despite her mother telling her daughter to demand Alway stop, the abuse continued, the court heard.

Mr Fenny said: “The mother realised she had to do something. She didn’t know what to do. She was aware that the teacher had been alone with her daughter in class.

“The last straw for the mum was when her daughter came home happy and pleased. On that day she wasn’t touched by her teacher, John Alway.”

Mr Fenny said the mother complained about Alway to the south Gloucestershire school and an investigation followed.

Police were called in but, due to a lack of additional evidence, no prosecution was brought, it was said.

In July 2010 a former pupil of Alway from a school in south Bristol also made a complaint against the teacher.

Mr Fenny said: “Her allegation was more serious, but bore real similarities. She said John Alway touched her during lunchtime.

“He got her to sharpen pencils, he sat her on his lap and he kissed and cuddled her.

“She recalled he ran his clammy hands down her back and squeezed her bottom. It happened a number of times.”

The jury was told Alway progressed to laying the youngster on the floor and touching her private parts.

On one occasion he allegedly stripped her naked and lay on top of her but stopped what he was doing when he was disturbed by a knock on the classroom door.

Mr Fenny told the court police tied the new complaint to the first girl’s allegation, along with allegations from a third girl which supported them.

Alway said he did not know one of the girls and insisted any touching of others was entirely unintentional.

A trial followed at Bristol Crown Court in June last year but was stopped when more complainants came forward after they read media reports.

Mr Fenny said: “Cases such as this are a legitimate source of public concern and interest. The press were present. The Bristol press reported, in the local newspaper, the trial.

“They did not name the complainants but are entitled to publish the name of the defendant, and they did.

“When they did that, another young woman heard of the report and knew that they too had been the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of John Alway and so they came forward. All of a sudden we had five additional complainants.”

The jury heard three pupils at a north Bristol school recounted how Alway touched them improperly.

One claimed she was locked in a cupboard before being released and hugged by him and another said it happened on a school trip.

The third girl said Alway touched her bottom and made inappropriate comments about her physical development.

Two former pupils from another school in south Gloucestershire said the teacher touched their backsides and made one feel sick at the thought of going to school.

Mr Fenny said: “In 2004 John Alway had a narrow escape. In 2010 the skeletons came rattling out of the cupboard.”

The trial continues.

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