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Former teacher convicted of indecent assault: John Mead to be sentenced

John Mead, 76, of Sabden, near Burnley, will be sentenced next month after being found guilty on four counts of abusing three boys under the age of 14.

The abuse took place during the 1970s. Preston Crown Court heard that during this period, Mead taught physics and music at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn. Mead organised overnight trips and excursions for young boys, where the abuse took place.

Mead denied the charges, which include:

  • Assaulting a boy in the shower more than once
  • Assaulting a boy after climbing into bed with him at night
  • Indecently touching a boy during a game of “monsters in the dark”

Preston Crown Court also heard that Mead had encouraged the boys to engage in conversations of a sexual nature, and that he had organised inappropriate activities such as urinating competitions and strip poker.

Comments from one of the victims were read out to the jury:

“I was shocked, surprised and confused. I felt as if in some way, it was my fault.
I thought it was shameful and as if I had done something wrong.

“As a child, you trust people in authority. I was aware
that something wrong had happened.”

Judge Christopher Cornwell commented:

“You have been convicted by the jury, rightly in
my judgement, in relation to four counts.

“Please be under no illusions – the mere fact that 40 years has passed does not in any
sense diminish the serious note of that what you did to these complainants.

“By the reason of your convictions, you have been found to be in
gross breach of the trust of those boys and their parents.

“I see no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence.”

Although Mead was cleared on two counts of indecent assault, Judge Cornwell warned that this should not be taken as a sign that a prison sentence may be avoided.

Mead has been placed on the sex offenders register. He is due to be sentenced on the 25th July.

If you have had experience of sexual abuse, and you would like expert confidential advice, please contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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