Teacher denies sex assault charges

A SUFFOLK teacher and top fencing coach has denied nine sex assaults on a girl under 16. Barry Clark, 61, of Darsham Close, Felixstowe, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London yesterday to plead not guilty to the charges.

A SUFFOLK teacher and top fencing coach has denied nine sex assaults on a girl under 16.

Barry Clark, 61, of Darsham Close, Felixstowe, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London yesterday to plead not guilty to the charges.

He faces seven counts of indecent assault against a minor, one charge of sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 and one charge of gross indecency against a girl under 16.

The alleged assaults are said to have taken place at the Robert Clack School in Dagenham between August 1992 and August 1994.

The charges all involve the same girl who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Judge Inigo Bing remanded Clark on conditional bail until January 16 next year. His trial has been scheduled for January 26 and is expected to last for up to seven days.

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Clark's bail conditions forbid him from contacting the alleged victim. He is also prohibited from being with a child under the age of 16 in a private place.

He is currently suspended from his teaching job at a Suffolk school.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “We can confirm Mr Clark is employed as a teacher. Since we were first made aware of this investigation he has not been in school.”

Clark is a leading figure in British fencing, currently holding the position of team selector with the British Fencing Association (BFA).

He was set for a glittering career in the sport and competed at international level but severed nerves in his hand during a competition in Czechoslovakia when he was in his 20s.

He has coached for the Salle Rose Fencing Club in Felixstowe, has been chairman and secretary of the Suffolk County Fencing Union and sits on the referees' panel of the BFA.

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