Former pupil says accused teacher's lessons were "fantastic"

Crown Court
Crown Court

A former pupil of a teacher accused of a string of historic sexual abuse charges has spoken in his defence.

The woman, who can't be named for legal reasons, said she was "never aware of sexually inappropriate behaviour" in the classroom.

Graham Brennand, 70, of Calder Avenue, Freckleton, is accused of 48 offences of sexual assault against girls and four of cruelty to boys at a time when he worked as a teacher and deputy head at St John’s Primary School in Baxenden, East Lancashire.

He is on trial at Preston Crown Court.

Referring to one of the boys he is charged with offences against, the woman told jurors he was "a little bit naughty and misbehaved" and that he was "in the group that was always acting up in the class."

Defending, Jacob Dyer asked: "Do you remember any girls being taken out of class for rewards for good work, that kind of thing?"

She replied: "No."

He asked: " In your observations was the class in fear of Mr Brennand."

She replied: " No, there was no problem.

"I don't think we were an easy class to teach.

"There were troublemakers in the class, a few who were naughty and misbehaved and others who just got on with their work

"He was a strict teacher in that he maintained discipline in the class by raising his voice and yes, he was a strict teacher in a good way and a positive way."

She told jurors she did not know the details of the allegations that had been made against him.

She added: "I particularly remember being in Mr Brennand's class as I really enjoyed that class, we had some fantastic lessons. I really enjoyed my English lessons.

"He was quite sporty so we did things like that as a a class."