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Victim of 'devious' Lancashire teacher who abused pupils said speaking out was 'right thing to do'

Ex-teacher Graham Brennand was convicted of 46 crimes against children
Ex-teacher Graham Brennand was convicted of 46 crimes against children

A woman who was abused by her teacher when she was just 10 years old has today told how his wicked crimes have affected ever since.

Graham Brennand, 70, of Calder Avenue, Freckleton, was convicted of 46 sickening offences against children - some dating back more than 30 years.

READ MORE: 'Devious and arrogant' ex-teacher is convicted of string of child abuse offences
During two separate trials his victims came forward to tell jurors how he would touch them inappropriately in the school environment - including a first aid club, sporting classes, and in the classroom.

He was yesterday found guilty of 26 sexual assaults against young girls and three charges of cruelty to boys. In January, he was convicted of 17 sexual assaults on 13 primary school girls.

The offences dated back to when he worked as a teacher and deputy head at a primary school in East Lancashire.

Prosecuting earlier in the case, Bob Golinski said Brennand’s conduct towards the children was, at times, almost blatant, but went “largely unchallenged”.

He added: “He could be something of a disciplinarian, a domineering figure, and many of the children were frightened of him.”

A married mum-of-three, now in her 50s, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “It’s been on my mind for every day of my life. I go past certain locations in Lancashire and it brings it all back.

“It has affected me all my life, and I can get upset even now, even though it’s a long time ago.

"It did affect my personal life because I still have flashbacks and I feel really dirty and horrible. I still feel guilty, like it’s my fault and I should have stopped him.

“I did mention it when I was 14 or 15 to my step mum, dad and a deputy headmaster at the school - nothing was ever done.

“I’ve got a daughter now, and when she started to reach that age I was when I was abused it hit home. Having children of my own encouraged me to come forward again. I have always been open and told people about it. My kids know now.

“I just thought it was me and didn’t know of anybody else.”

The woman, who works as a manager for a major firm, has suffered panic attacks and started getting migraines as a youngster when the abuse started.

She added: “I felt like if they’d listened when I was 15 it wouldn’t have happened to even more people.”

She says coming face to face with her abuser in court “empowered” her.

“It’s something I’d been waiting for for so long," she added. "I felt so strong and proud of myself that I’d done something at last, I could cry.

"It made me feel empowered. I did shed some tears when they talked about my parents, but I knew giving evidence was the right thing to do.”

Investigating officer Keith Hill, of Lancashire Police, said: “Grahame Brennand is a devious and arrogant man that took advantage of his position to abuse many children in his care and to carry out his perverted sexual interest in young girls, abuse which continued over many years.”

The offences were committed between 1973 and 1989 and all the victims were aged seven to 11 at the time of the abuse.

Brennand will be sentenced on October 12.