Sex-charge teacher 'mesmerised' by boy at Sussex school

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A former Sussex teacher accused of sexually abusing a girl in the 1970s told a court he had abused a boy after becoming "mesmerised by his beauty".

Bernard Haunch, 72, said he had sought help for his obsession with boys before joining the school in the mid-1970s.

But he told Lewes Crown Court he found female bodies repellent.

He denies 16 offences, including rape and indecent assault, between 1975 and 1983, but has admitted indecency offences against a nine-year-old boy.

Haunch, of Sutton, south London, said: "I was mesmerised by his beauty, almost, like they say, some kind of snake has you in its power and you are not acting alone."

'Take me away'

He said the boy had not co-operated and added: "Suddenly I realised what I was doing and the distress I was causing."

Subsequently, the boy would run away every time the teacher approached him and wrote a letter to his parents, pleading: "Please, please, take me away from this hell."

Haunch was ordered to leave the school and was barred from teaching for five years.

Janice Brennan, defending, told the court Haunch was arrested in February 2011 after the police received a letter from a woman who claimed he had abused her while she was a pupil at the school.

Haunch said he had assumed it was from the boy he had abused and was astonished to find it had come from a woman.

The court heard that before he joined the school in West Sussex he had phoned the Gay News newspaper, asking for help in dealing with his attraction to pre-pubescent boys.

Haunch claimed in court, he was given the number of the now defunct pro-paedophilia action group, the Paedophile Information Exchange.

The trial continues.

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