Christ's Hospital sports teacher in 'sexual subterfuge'

image copyrightPA
image captionAjaz Karim denies sex offences against six teenage girls

A sports teacher at a private school offered massages to girls in his locked study as cover for sexually touching them, a court has heard.

Ajaz Karim, from west London, denies a string of indecent assaults on teenage pupils at Christ's Hospital School, Sussex, from 1985 to 1993.

The jury at Brighton Crown Court heard Mr Karim, 63, told police he was teaching breathing and relaxation.

Prosecutor Eloise Marshall said Mr Karim left the school after complaints.

"Mr Karim used his position as a member of staff and his role in the sports department at the school to use massage of these girls as a subterfuge for touching them sexually," Ms Marshall said.

"They [the girls] didn't all appreciate at the time that the touching was sexual but all say they felt uncomfortable."

'Shocking audacity'

She said on one occasion, Mr Karim told a girl to keep her eyes closed while he put music on and touched her naked body.

"She had never been touched by anyone in that way," Ms Marshall said.

The court heard he massaged the girl while she was lying face down on the floor and then he turned her over and began to touch her inappropriately.

image copyrightPA
image captionThe top private school charges up to £31,500 a year

Ms Marshall said another 14-year-old recalled how he found her alone and was "pretty certain that he was going to snog her".

"He found it funny and she was shocked by his audacity," the prosecutor added.

Another girl complained to the Horsham school when he kissed her on the lips, but he claimed it was a peck on the cheek, jurors heard.

Mr Karim denied the claims during a police interview after his arrest in 2016 - he said he was teaching the girls breathing and relaxation techniques and when he did massage them it was to help them bend their legs.

He is accused of nine indecent assaults and one attempted indecent assault against six girls aged 14 to 18.

The court heard how Mr Karim, who lives in Hammersmith, had also worked at Eton College, Queen's Club, the Hurlingham Club, and has links to London branches of Champneys health spas and Credit Suisse.

Christ's Hospital School charges boarders up to £31,500 a year and its pupils still wear a Tudor-style uniform featuring a long, blue coat and high yellow socks.

The trial continues.

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