A former primary school deputy headteacher carried out sex attacks on 25 pupils and subjected two boys to acts of cruelty, a court heard.

Grahame Brennand, 70, is standing trial accused of committing historic indecent assault and cruelty offences over two decades while he was teaching at Baxenden St John’s CE Primary School. He denies the claims made against him.

He denies the claims made against him.

Prosecutors claim Mr Brennand ‘inappropriately’ and sexually touched young girls and that his conduct ‘went largely unchallenged’.

On one occasion he is accused of rubbing one boys nose in dog excrement, hanging him from a clothes hook, and making him stand against a radiator for an hour, while prosecutors claim he locked another in a store cupboard.

Mr Brennand, who lived in the Hyndburn area for 40 years and now lives in Preston, denies 48 counts of indecent assault and four counts of cruelty.

Robert Golinski, prosecuting, told the jury at Preston Crown Court that Mr Brennand ‘took advantage of his position’ to abuse the alleged victims.

Baxenden St John's primary school. Picture from Google Street View.

The jury was told that Mr Brennand allegedly abused another girl in the 1990s after he stopped teaching.

Mr Golinski told the jury: “It seems on the evidence of this case that the defendant’s conduct towards these children at times was almost blatant but went largely unchallenged.

“The prosecution say that he could be something of a disciplinarian and a domineering figure and many children were frightened of him.

“We say he was an arrogant individual who had his favourites, particularly the girls, and routinely treated boys and girls differently.

“In his position in the primary school he found a number of ways in which he could commit these offences.”

Mr Golinski told the jury that Mr Brennand allegedly would ‘kiss and hug female pupils when he had the opportunity’, made girl pupils stand in front of him and sit on his knee and also touched them inappropriately.

Mr Golinski said: “The prosecution say this sexual touching was at times almost routine and that it was serious.

“What will emerge from that evidence is the clear pattern of very similar behaviour by this defendant over a number of years.

“Although he denies these allegations, in truth he has no real answer to them. They have not just come out of nothing.”

Preston Crown Court

Jacob Dyer, defending, said Mr Brennand admits ‘some physical contact with children in the course of teaching’ but denies any sexual touching, assaults or cruelty.

The barrister said Mr Brennand admits to being a ‘strict teacher’ and using ‘reasonable chastisement in the days when it was allowed in schools’ such as smacking on the legs.

He told the jury: “The defendant denies all these allegations.

“Many of the complainants know each other and the defence contend there have been discussions between them about the defendant.

“They have also been influenced by things they have heard from outside or in the press about the defendant.

“These factors may explain some of the apparent similarities of the allegations they now make.”

The jury was told that Mr Brennand was previously a member of Great Harwood and Green Haworth Golf Clubs, played in local football leagues and also taught badminton at Hyndburn Sports Centre.