Brookside School nr Ludlow, Shropshire
A 96-year-old former head teacher will face trial in November for historical child sex offences.
Jack Mount, who lives in South Molton, Devon, has previously pleaded not guilty to 50 offences, although prosecutors are still to finalise charges.
The offences are alleged to have taken place in Shropshire from 1954 to 1979.
Mr Mount is one of the oldest defendants ever to face trial in the UK.
He is in poor health and suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
A trial was originally scheduled for January in Bristol.
However, Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC said thanks to “a lot of work by several people” it would now take place at Barnstaple Crown Court, near Mr Mount’s home, in November and finish before Christmas.
“There are obvious reasons why a trial in this case should take place sooner rather than later,” he said during a hearing at Exeter Crown Court.
Mr Mount, who is visually impaired and uses hearing aids, spoke only to confirm his name.
Legal arguments are due to be heard at Barnstaple Crown Court on 2 November, with a trial scheduled to start a week later.
Retired headteacher, 95, facing series of child sex charges is to become oldest person to stand trial in Britain
- Jack Mount was the head of privately-run Brookside School, Shropshire
- The 95-year-old has been accused of 50 counts of historic sex offences
- There are a total of 17 complainants, who were aged between seven and 13
- The alleged offences were said to have taken place between 1953 and 1979
- He is set to stand trial later this year after entering not guilty pleas
Jack Mount, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, made separate appearances yesterday at both Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and the city’s Crown Court.
Mount is the former head of the privately-run Brookside School, near Craven Arms in Shropshire.
He is facing allegations that over a 25-year period he committed 32 sexual offences against six girls and six boys.
The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1954 and 1979.
The pensioner, who was born in May 1919, spoke only to confirm his age and address during a brief hearing that took place yesterday at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
The lower court agreed to a request by prosecutor David Devine for Mount to appear at the Crown Court on the same day owing to his age and the nature of the alleged offences.
Mount, of Paradise Lawn, South Molton, Devon, is facing nine counts of rape, six of gross indecency, nine of indecent assault, and eight other sexual offences.One of the offences is alleged to have been committed in Barnsley in the mid-1950s.
A further three offences are alleged to have occurred in Birmingham between 1957 and 1962.
The remaining 28 charges relate to allegations of sexual abuse against boys and girls said to have taken place in south Shropshire between 1967 and 1979.
Mount, who denies all the charges, was granted unconditional bail.
He is due to reappear at a plea hearing in January.
Man summonsed over historic child sex offences
West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have today authorised the charging of a 95-year-old man from Devon for historic child sex offences.
The charges related to offences which were allegedly carried out by Jack Mount between 1954 and 1979.
Wendy Bounds, District Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands CPS, said:
“I have today authorised West Mercia Police to charge Jack Mount with 32 counts of sexual offences relating to 12 victims. The counts span a period of over 20 years between 1954 and 1979 and involve both male and female victims.
“The decision has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
“Mr Mount has been summoned to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court on 31 October 2014.
“Criminal proceedings are now active and the defendant has a right to a fair trial. It is therefore extremely important that there should be no commentary or reporting which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”