Teacher arrested at desk, court hears

James Bird at court
James Bird at court
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A Lancashire headteacher accused of historic sex offences against a former pupil was arrested at his desk at a primary school near Preston, a court heard.

James Bird, 53, denies four counts of gross indecency with the pupil, who reported Bird to the police more than a decsade after he alleges he was forced to perform sex acts upon the teacher in his office.

In an interview, hours after his arrest at Newton Bluecoat School in Newton-With-Scales, Bird blasted the claims as being “absolutely ridiculous” and told officers he had always had an open door policy when disciplining pupils.

A man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claims he was abused after being sent to Bird’s office for backchatting a teacher at St James’ CofE Primary School in Accrington.

Bird, of Acorn Close, Leyland, who has also taught at Pool House County Primary School in Ingol, said he remembered the pupil, telling officers: “He wasn’t always a good boy, I remember that.”

But he said he could not remember any specific incidents where he had been involved in disciplining the schoolboy or spoken to him in his office.

Joan Smith, a former teacher at the school, said she recalled the boy’s behaviour being “confrontational and challenging” at times.

She told Preston Crown Court: “I often wondered what his aggression was about. He was quite an aggressive boy and I couldn’t understand the reason. We got on well and had a good relationship.”

The boy claims the abuse started after being sent out of class.