A former teacher at a secondary school in Kings Langley has gone on trial accused of committing sex offences on two boys who were pupils at the school in the 1970s and the 1980s.
Anthony Shenton is alleged to have abused the boys at his home where they had gone after lessons at Langleybury School, which has since closed down.
Mr Shenton (pictured), who is now aged 82, from Aldenham, is alleged to have fondled the boys and committed sex acts on them.
He is on trial at St Albans Crown Court where he pleads not guilty to five offences of indecent assault on a male person, buggery and indecency with a child.
The court heard one of the complainants spoke to police officers about what had happened in 1996 and provided a statement. But at the time, no action was taken.
Prosecutor Isobel Delamere said that changed in in 2019 when messages were posted on social media by a former pupil at the school asking if anyone could remember Mr Shenton.
The court heard the two complainants subsequently came forward and as a result the police became involved once more.
Opening the case to the jury, Miss Delamere said the counts he faced reflected his “grooming” of the boys.
Giving evidence via a videoed interview with police officers in 2019 when he was 47 years old, the first complainant said he had attended Langleybury in the early 1980s, when he was around 11 years old.
He said the teacher taught him in craft, design and technology classes and, over time, he said they became friends.
The man said he would visit the teacher at his “grace and favour apartment” at the school, which he said was in the old part above a former stable block.
He said Mr Shenton took him to Earls Court in London to the Boat Show and camping and caravan exhibitions.
At the teacher’s home, the complainant said they would watch TV and he said at first there was no sexual intimacy between them.
He said the accused sometimes cooked a meal for them and gave him an alcoholic drink, which he thought might have been a sweet sherry.
The witness said the first time there was sexual touching by the defendant was when he found himself sitting on the teacher’s lap and his back was being rubbed.
He told the court the teacher started rubbing his buttocks and he went on: “I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t stop it. It felt nice.”
The man said he thought he was around 13 or 14 at the time and after that, incident activities between them progressed to mutually fondling each other.
He told the jury that after one occasion when there had been sexual activity between them, the teacher said to him: “I know that probably shouldn’t have happened and you have every right to tell someone and I said: ‘No, no that’s fine, I am not going to get you into trouble. I definitely remember that conversation with him being very apologetic.”
The second complainant, who is now aged 60, told the court he had gone to the school in 1972 when he was around 11 or 12.
He said the defendant ran an after school canoe club and he described him as being “different” from the other teachers, as he seemed younger and “more interesting.”
“He had a clique of boys around him,” he told the court.
The man said he too got involved with the canoe club and also visited the teacher at his home.
At first, he said, nothing happened, but he said he remembered how during one visit he ended up sitting on Mr Shenton’s lap as he spoke about canoeing and mountaineering.
He went on: “He started touching.”
The man said in the visits that followed they would end up kissing, undressing and oral sexual took place.
He said the defendant also carried out an act of anal sex on him.
The man said on one occasion at the school, the defendant had kissed and hugged him when they were alone in a store room.
He said on another occasion when he and some boys had gone away with the teacher for a trip to Austria, Mr Shenton had “assaulted” him in an Alpine ski lodge.