Sex-charge teacher mesmerised by boy at Sussex school - East Grinstead

Aformer Sussex teacher accused of sexually abusing a girl in the 1970s told a court he had abused a boy after becoming "mesmerised by his beauty".

Bernard Haunch, 72, said he had sought help for his obsession with boys before joining the school in the mid-1970s. But he told Lewes Crown Court he found female bodies repellent. He denies 16 offences, including rape and indecent assault, between 1975 and 1983, but has admitted indecency offences against a nine-year-old boy. Haunch, of Sutton, south London, said: "I was mesmerised by his beauty, almost, like they say, some kind of snake has you in its power and you are not acting alone." 'Take me away' He said the boy had not co-operated and added: "Suddenly I realised what I was doing and the distress I was causing." Subsequently, the boy would run away every time the teacher approached him and wrote a letter to his parents, pleading: "Please, please, take me away from this hell." Haunch was ordered to leave the school and was barred from teaching for five years. Janice Brennan, defending, told the court Haunch was arrested in February 2011 after the police received a letter from a woman who claimed he had abused her while she was a pupil at the school. Haunch said he had assumed it was from the boy he had abused and was astonished to find it had come from a woman. he court heard that before he joined the school in West Sussex he had phoned the Gay News newspaper, asking for help in dealing with his attraction to pre-pubescent boys. Haunch claimed in court, he was given the number of the now defunct pro-paedophilia action group, the Paedophile Information Exchange. The trial continues If you were subject to abuse or you know of a friend or relative who was please get in touch in the strictest of confidence. Charles Derham crd@verisona.com 02392492472


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."

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