[heading_block]Graham Butterworth, 70 years old and a retired teacher, has told the jury that he did not sexually abuse 3 under-aged boys.[/heading_block]
Graham Butterworth has denied 14 counts of indecent assault between 1977 and 1983. Four of the offences allegedly involve Butterworth touching a boy aged between 8 and 9 years old during lessons in class. Two other victims alleged that Graham Butterworth abused them during visits to his home in Countesthorpe when they were aged between 12 and 15 years old.
During the trial at Leicester Crown Court, Graham Butterworth, admitted that he has a previous conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy on 22nd September, 2011. The incident happened in a changing cubicle at Canons Heath Club, University Road, Leicester, and Butterworth was later jailed when he was convicted on 12th December, 2013.
Butterworth stated “Yes, I’m not proud of that.” during his evidence.
The retired teacher went onto say that he respected the law regarding the age of consent and that he “made a mistake”, as he thought the boy was older than he actually was.
Butterworth said: “The law is the law and it must be obeyed.”
Butterworth said there was no truth to the allegations that he sexually assaulted a pupil in his classroom at Coleman Road Infant and Junior School, in Leicester. He also disputed the two other allegations. Graham Butterworth said he made a verbal pass at one of them, or he said was old enough to ride a motorbike and the other had visited him for a consensual sexual activity. He claims the victim was over the age of 18, as he phoned him several times initiating contact from a public house
Defence barrister, Paul Prior, asked him: “Were you open about being gay in the 1980’s?”
Butterworth said: “No, I used to try very hard not to advertise that fact in and around the (Countesthorpe) Conservative Club or the school. In those days, not now, there was a stigma attached to being gay. I didn’t want the parents or other people to be aware of my sexuality. People can be very homophobic. At school it would have made them anxious about me being near their children – same at the club, they would have been concerned.”
Mr Prior asked: “Were you aware there were rumours around the village you were gay?”
Butterworth replied: “No, I thought I was doing quite a good job of hiding it.”
Under cross-examination by prosecutor, Kevin Barry, the defendant said he had not committed the offences, had done nothing wrong and knew of no reason why the three alleged victims would make up such false accusations against him.
Mr Barry said: “You didn’t consider yourself bound by the age of consent; you took what you wanted from the boys for sexual gratification?”
He replied: “No that’s not true.”
Mr Barry said: “You have over the course of your life repeatedly sexually preyed on under-aged boys.”
Butterworth said: “No that’s not true.”
Mr Barry said: “As a school teacher you abused the trust placed in you by parents?”
“No I did not touch the children and I would not,” the defendant replied.
The jury is due to retire to consider the verdicts after Judge Nicholas Dean QC has summed up the evidence.