Tees

Stockton supply teacher accused of sexually assaulting young girls

Jonathan Clayton
Image caption Jonathan Clayton told police the allegations against him were "Chinese whispers", Teesside Crown Court heard

A supply teacher has gone on trial accused of sexual assaults on girls as young as seven at a primary school.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court heard 27-year-old Jonathan Clayton carried out "opportunistic" attacks on pupils, which left them "creeped out".

The court was told he carried out the assaults over a six-week period in 2019 on six girls aged between seven and 11.

Mr Clayton, from Stockton, who was dismissed after the allegations were made, denies 13 sexual assaults.

Prosecutor Richard Bennett described Mr Clayton as a "charismatic opportunist with a propensity to take advantage of young girls".

'Funny and kind'

He added: "The defendant engineered opportunities to touch girls sexually."

The court heard children initially found Mr Clayton "funny and kind", but that his behaviour changed over time.

Among the allegations are that he helped one girl undress and touched her and touched another girl at his desk.

The court heard that after his arrest, My Clayton told police officers he had never intentionally touched a child, describing the allegations against him as "Chinese whispers".

The trial continues.

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