Devon

Ex-Devon teacher sex claims felt like a 'punch in the stomach'

Chay Roberts-Jones Image copyright Nick Irving
Image caption Chay Roberts-Jones denies three counts of sexual assault

A public school teacher accused of sexually assaulting three teenagers has told a court he felt like he had been "punched in the stomach" when he heard the allegations.

Chay Roberts-Jones, of Preston Street, Exeter, told the city's crown court he had never touched them inappropriately and all the allegations were untrue.

The 29-year-old is accused of three counts of sexual assault.

He was suspended from Blundells School, in Devon, over the allegations.

'Never think it will happen'

Mr Roberts-Jones, who was a physics teacher and has since moved to France with his wife, told the court: "I was first told about the details of what was alleged in the police interview, and I was shocked - it was like being punched in the stomach.

"You never really think it will happen to you.

"The fact this could happen has shocked me and I don't feel I could be the same teacher after something like this has happened."

The prosecution alleges that Mr Roberts-Jones touched three different girls in separate incidents in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

The first has told the jury he groped her bottom while having his picture taken with her, when she was 18.

The second alleges he ran his fingers over her breasts during a camping trip, when she was 16, after unzipping her onesie.

The third told the court he stroked her thigh, tried to pull down her jeans, touched her stomach, and kissed her neck while supposedly giving her a sports massage, when she was 18.

Mr Roberts-Jones said he had given the third girl a short sports massage on her calf because she has suffered cramp while swimming earlier in the day.

He said: "I did not massage her thigh. I did not kiss her and I did not touch her stomach."

The trial continues.

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