Former Kesgrave Hall teacher denies 13 charges of sexually abusing five children

John McKno

John McKno - Credit: Archant

A 70-year-old former maths teacher had denied 13 charges alleging he abused five children at Kesgrave Hall and two other schools.

John McKno, of Alby Hill, Alby, near Norwich, is due to stand trial at Ipswich Crown Court at the end of February next year.

McKno appeared before the court to enter his pleas to allegations spanning a 12-year period dating back 40 years.

In addition to the charges relating to the former Kesgrave Hall School in Main Road, Kesgrave, McKno is also charged with offences at Beam College in Great Torrington, Devon, which has also closed during the intervening period.

Other charges relate to a third school, St Michael’s College in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.

McKno – who sat at the back of the court in a wheelchair during his plea and directions hearing before Judge David Goodin – answered not guilty in a clear, strong voice to each of the charges as they were read out by the court clerk.

The accusations include three allegations of buggery, one attempted buggery, four indecent assaults and five counts of gross indecency with a child.

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These included two new charges which were added to the indictment at the hearing relating to a fifth victim. There had previously been 11 charges relating to four victims when the case was last heard on July 3.

During the hearing prosecutor Jacqueline Carey, the judge and Charles Myatt, representing McKno, discussed details relating to the time scales leading up to the trial.

Judge Goodin said the case would either be heard by him or Judge John Devaux.

At the end of the proceedings McKno was told his trial would begin on Monday, February 29.

Another hearing was scheduled for February 10 to ensure all parties were ready for the trial to start as scheduled, although McKno was informed that he did not have to attend it.

He was released on unconditional bail.

Kesgrave Hall School closed in 1993.