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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Boys ‘mocked teacher for being gay’, Carlisle court told

A trainee teacher on trial for abducting boys was mocked by them for being gay, a court was told.

John Dougan photo
John Dougan

Related: Trainee teacher denies showing boy obscene photo - court

John Dougan, who volunteers for a west Cumbrian youth organisation, is accused of taking five 12-year-old boys on unauthorised trips.

Dougan, 20, of Chaucer Road in Workington, has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of child abduction, claming he did not know the rules of the organisation.

Jonathan Clarke, defending, said when the boys had found out about his sexuality some of them had called him names to embarrass him.

Speaking to one of the boys via video link at Carlisle Crown Court, Mr Clarke said: “Sometimes lads in a group mess around together and show off to each other.

“And is it right that after you found out he was gay you would say things to embarrass him?”

“I can’t remember,” said the boy who was 12 at the time of the alleged abduction.

Mr Clarke also claimed some of the boys used Mr Dougan “almost like a free taxi service”.

“He would give your friends a lift, and certainly on one occasion you and your friends rang him up and asked you to pick up and give you a lift somewhere. That happened, didn’t it?”

“Yes,” said the boy.

He was also questioned again about an obscene image which he claimed had been shown to him by the defendant.

Mr Clarke said suggested that it had been one of the boy’s friends who had done so, not Dougan himself.

The boy said he “wasn’t sure” but added that he “thought it was John [Dougan]” who had shown him the image.

The court heard that the defendant had taken groups of boys to various places across west Cumbria without parental permission.

The case continues.

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