Updated: Saturday, 14th December 2019 @ 6:16pm

Jailed: Oldham teacher groped boys while they read in FRONT of class on his knee

Jailed: Oldham teacher groped boys while they read in FRONT of class on his knee

| By Liam Geraghty

A sick Oldham teacher who groped nine boys while they sat on his knee and read out passages in front of the school has today been jailed.

Anthony Kerr, of Netherlees, had earlier pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to 29 offences of sexual assault.

The 71-year-old was handed four years imprisonment and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Detective Constable Sue Chadwick, based at Oldham Public Protection Investigations Unit, said: “Kerr’s shocking and blatant abuse of innocent children has left a lasting scar on all his victims.

“Not only did he sexual abuse young boys, but he did it in front of the whole class. This added an extra element of humiliation to his crimes as the abuse was common knowledge among classmates.

“Without the bravery of all his victims, particularly the first one to come forward, we would not be in a position to see Kerr finally receive his punishment.

“Their courage should hopefully encourage any other victims of sexual abuse to now come forward and speak to the police.”

The offences relate to sexual abuse of NINE boys during their time at school between 1979 and 1982 – one victim was as young as seven.

The victims told the police that Kerr would encourage boys to sit on his knee at the front of class while reading out load.

He would then sexually assault them as they sat on his knee.

Detective Inspector Rick Collins said: “This case shows that when people come forward, regardless of the time that had elapsed, we can track down and prosecute offenders successfully.“

Greater Manchester is nationally recognised as a model of good practice in terms of support services available to victims.

- If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.

- You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can refer themselves to St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0161 276 6515.

- St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault.

Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them either as a self-referral or via Greater Manchester Police.

- Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential support service run by women for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused. Confidential helpline: 0161 273 4500. Black and Minority Ethnic helpline: 0161 273 4514.

- Survivors Manchester offers support and counselling for adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, regardless of when the event happened. Contact 07919 246 267.