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Headteacher denies fondling teenage boy
A HEADTEACHER from Basingstoke accused of sexually touching a teenage boy has denied that it ever took place.
Andrew Howard, 46, of Mulberry Way, Chineham, is accused of two counts of sexual activity with a child under 16, touching the boy on the groin when he was in his car and in his home – offences he denies.
At Winchester Crown Court today, Katherine Kelleher, defending, asked Howard if he had leaned over while driving to touch the boy on the inner thigh and up to his genitals.
Howard said: “I have never touched him in that manner in a car or otherwise.”
The trial had previously heard that Howard, a headteacher at Velmead Junior School, in Fleet, knew the teenage boy but did not teach him.
The jury had been told Howard bought items for the alleged victim, such as football shirts, and gone with him for meals out and to sporting matches.
The prosecution allege that Howard later told the boy he was sexually attracted to him and was prepared to offer give him money if their relationship "changed", all of which Howard denied saying.
Asked by Ms Kelleher if he was over-generous, he said: “I do have the opportunity to be generous because of my income and my income compared to outgoings is considerable.
“The key part of my job as headteacher is about improving people’s lives. If I can do it then I am happy to do that.”
Asked by Matthew Jewell, prosecuting, why the teenager would make the allegations, he added: “A pattern of his behaviour is to humiliate and punish adults who cross him.”
The court also heard from Sue Runciman, deputy headteacher at Velmead Junior School, who praised Howard for his dedication to his teaching career and how seriously he took his responsibilities for looking after the welfare of his pupils.
The trial continues.