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Shock of centre chief in sex abuse case.

The manager of a Midland Activity Centre was "numbed" to discover that a teacher who regularly went there with children had been accused of sexual abuse, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Frederick Winnall (60) denied he had interfered with any of the young boys at the centre of the allegations.

Winnall, manager of the Frank Chapman Centre in Bewdley, Worcestershire, denies five charges of indecent assault relating to three boys.

The court was told that Roger Sibley, who taught at Jaffray School in Erdington had pleaded guilty to charges of abuse and received a substantial sentence.

It is alleged Winnall had sexually molested a boy in the swimming pool at the centre and another at a cottage in the Forest of Dean owned by Sibley 15 years ago.

Mr Andrew Fisher, defending, asked Winnall what his reaction was in September last year when he was told that Sibley had been arrested.

Winnall said : "I was numb. It was very difficult to take in. It was somewhat disbelieving because I was not given any details so I had no idea of the seriousness of what was going on."

He said he had known Sibley for about 20 years but had no idea he was homosexual, or any suspicions as to what was going on.

Asked whether he had any concerns as to the activities in the swimming pool at the centre between Sibley and the boys he said "No. I ought to have done I suppose. No I am afraid I didn't."

The case continues
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 12, 1998
Words:253
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