Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth assistant headteacher's 'play centre sex act'

An assistant headteacher performed a sex act inches from the face of a sleeping boy during a sleepover after a Christmas party, a court has heard.

Jurors heard it happened at the Buckland play centre in Portsmouth, Hampshire, early on 23 December 2012.

Matthew Hill, 40, denies a charge of outraging public decency.

The court heard he was the assistant headteacher at Lyndhurst Junior School at the time but was helping out voluntarily at the play centre event.

'Looking at the child'

Iain Wicks, prosecuting, told Portsmouth Crown Court a party had been organised for children aged between seven and 14.

They had a Christmas dinner, played games and watched films before going to bed at about 22:30 GMT.

Mr Wicks said the children and supervising adults slept on mats on the floors of the main hall and a back room.

He said Mr Hill, of Mallory Crescent, Fareham, started off sleeping in the main room but moved to the back room in the early hours because he was cold.

The court heard site manager Nicola Andrews, who was also in the back room, witnessed Mr Hill carrying out the sex act between 12 and 18 inches (30-45 cm) from a child's face.

'Upset and angry'

The prosecutor said Mrs Andrews woke up at about 05:30 and saw the defendant positioned between two children - who he referred to as M and B.

"B was under a quilt, fast asleep facing the defendant, his head was in line with the defendant's midriff," he said.

"As she looked Mrs Andrews suddenly realised he was actually masturbating. She noticed the defendant's eyes were open and he was looking at the child.

"She watched that for more than five seconds then she coughed and moved in a charade of waking up.

"She looked again, the defendant had stopped, covered himself up and closed his eyes."

Mr Wicks said Mrs Andrews asked Mr Hill to join her in another room and asked him to leave the premises, which he did.

The court heard Mr Hill sent Mrs Andrews a text message saying: "I can't believe what's happening, I do not know what you think you saw but I swear I have done nothing wrong."

During a police interview Mr Hill denied the allegation and said that he was "upset and angry" over it, the court heard.

He said he was not sexually interested in children and was attracted to women his own age.

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