WHEN a man began discussing his school days on a social media site, it brought back memories of abuse he had suffered at the hands of his former woodwork teacher, a jury has heard.
And when the police began to investigate his allegations, they discovered that another former Kineton High School pupil had made a complaint some years earlier about the same teacher.
As a result 72 year-old retired woodwork teacher Roland Midgley was charged with offences against both former pupils in the 1980s.
Mr Midgley, of Warwick Road, Southam, has pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of indecently assaulting one boy when he was 12 and 13, and one of indecently assaulting the other boy when he was 13.
Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said the offences are said to have taken place in the 1980s when Mr Midgley was a woodwork teacher at Kineton High School, where he was also head of years one and two.
The first complainant said the abuse began after he was kicked in the groin, after which a note was sent instructing him to go to see Mr Midgley in the woodwork room at lunchtime.
“He asked me what happened, and I told him. He told me to follow him into his office. He told me to take down my trousers and my underwear, and he then started to press around on my groin and asked me if it hurt.”
But he said Mr Midgley then began to inspect and fondle his genitals before telling him to ‘pull yourself up’ and go back to class.
“I was kind of shocked and kind of confused at the time. I had had that injury, and he was a teacher. So I thought ‘do I trust what he did?’”
He said similar things happened ‘five, maybe six times’ while he was in the first two years at the school.
Asked what prompted him to report matters so many years later, he explained that he was taking part in a discussion about school in the 1980s on a social media site – and when Mr Midgley’s name was mentioned, it brought it back to him.
He said at first, feeling anger and upset, he sought help from a support organisation, and later decided to report matters to the police.
Lee Masters, defending, asked him: “Why didn’t you tell somebody, for example your form teacher?” He replied: “I’m not sure.” But he rejected a suggestion by Mr Masters that ‘it never happened.’
The jury heard it was alleged Mr Midgley had indecently assaulted the other boy in a similar way, undoing his shirt and trousers before putting his hand down the front and fondling him, after that boy had also been told to go and see him.
Years later, in 1999, that man had complained to the police, but Mr Midgley was not charged and the matter lay dormant. “But during the police investigation into the later allegations it came to light again, and the defendant was charged in relation to both men,” said Mr Simpson.
“The issue for you is either both of these men are telling the truth, or they’re not.”
The trial continues.