A FORMER teacher is accused of sexually assaulting teenage boys by spanking them and touching them inappropriately.

Michael McCarthy, 47, of Hadleigh Road, Leigh, is on trial facing 11 counts in total, most of which involve him allegedly striking a teenager on the backside for sexual pleasure while he was acting as a mentor, a court heard.

Charges include four counts of sexual activity with a child, five counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault.

McCarthy denies all charges.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at a school in the Basildon borough between 1998 and 2017 and involve four different men who allege they were assaulted as teenagers.

Jamie Sawyer, prosecuting, laid out the case to the jury as the trial opened at Basildon Crown Court yesterday.

Describing the first complainant’s account of his alleged abuse, Mr Sawyer said McCarthy hit the teenager on the backside while he was against a wall and while the teen didn’t think anything of it at the time, it soon became a frequent occurrence.

Mr Sawyer said: “The victim said a pattern began to develop - he was being struck on the bottom two or three times then McCarthy would step back, check the room was empty, and then do it again. The victim thought it was wrong and didn’t like it.”

Mr Sawyer told the court as the teenager got older, McCarthy began hitting him harder.

He added: “The defendant would count down from 11 and the blows got harder as it went on. At this point, the victim decided McCarthy was actually trying to hurt him and realised he was not being helped.

“He began to feel threatened, he thought McCarthy was controlling him and he began feeling weak.”

After the first complainant disclosed the abuse to police officers, three other alleged victims were identified.

The court heard all three men claimed McCarthy had carried out similar sexual assaults on them.

Describing the third victim’s account, Mr Sawyer said: “He was made to bend over a desk, had his trousers and boxers pulled down and struck on the bottom with a ruler or the defendant’s hand.” Mr Sawyer told the court this man also described how McCarthy cupped his private parts. One count of sexual assault relates to McCarthy allegedly hitting one of the victims years later. The trial continues