Teacher ‘mesmerised’ by boy at Sussex school – East Grinstead

A former 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.

The 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


Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

She is also a member of Verisona Law’s Historic Abuse Team and undertakes documentary analysis, work relating to case evidence and the development of legal arguments to secure successful settlements. She is fluent in German and Persian.

Lisa also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law.

Client testimonials

"Lovely, friendly, great people. Very understanding too and very good at what they do. Very happy with the result, many thanks again Lisa and everyone involved in my case."
Anonymous

"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse 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."

Anonymous


Make an
enquiry