Former teacher 'romped with children on classroom mattress'

Court hears evidence from a teaching assistant working at the school at the time of the alleged assaults Credit: PA

A former teacher accused of molesting an 11-year-old pupil kept a mattress in his classroom on which he "romped with children", it has been claimed.

Richard Alston, 70, is accused of assaulting the youngster repeatedly at a school in Greenford, Middlesex, in the late 1970s.

The attacks are said to have happened on school grounds, during a school camp and at a flat shared with the teacher's former boyfriend, Peter Righton.

Righton, now deceased, was a former governor at the school.

Sourthwark Crown Court heard evidence from Wendy Doyle, a teaching assistant at the school at the time in question, who said she thought it was a "odd" that a mattress was kept in the cupboard.

Simon Spence, defending, asked Mrs Doyle what she meant when she said she "imagined" Alston and the children had been "romping" on the mattress.

She answered: "Richard and the children were in the classroom. I could see from his reaction when he came out - he was hot and bothered, if you like."

Alston denies six counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child against one complainant.

He allegedly first molested the then 11-year-old complainant after he fell off a climbing frame in the play area of the school, under the pretence of comforting him.

Two more incidents are said to have taken place during a school camp, and allegedly involved Alston creeping into the complainant's tent and touching him while swimming in a pond.

Other allegations state that Alston and Righton - sometimes in the presence of their friend Charles Napier - would play pornographic films at their flat and watch the youngster's reaction, occasionally asking him to perform sex acts on them as he did so.

Alston, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, is on bail and denies all charges against him.

The trail continues.