A FORMER primary school teacher has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a child in the 1970s.

Donald Farms, 73, of Rock Road, in Spennymoor, County Durham, appeared in court accused of four sexual offences, relating to indecent assaults and inciting a child under the age of 14 to commit acts of gross indecency.

The offences were carried out by Farms over a 15-month period.

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Now an adult, the victim reported the four incidents were all carried out during that time.

Farms, who was employed as a teacher at a primary school in County Durham at the time, spoke only to confirm his guilty pleas, his name, address and date of birth during a five-minute hearing at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ court on Tuesday, November 7.

Laura Johnson, prosecuting, said: “This case relates to non-recent or historical sexual offences, and at the time, Mr Farms was a primary school teacher.

“The victim was told not to tell anyone at the time otherwise they would go to jail and has lived with psychological damage as a result of these crimes.

“Mr Farms does have a conviction of a similar sexual offences – it is of some age, but it’s a relevant conviction.”

Farms pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assaults on a child under the age of 14 and two counts of inciting a child under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency.

Addressing Farms, chairman of the bench Dr Peter Minto said: “Clearly, the nature of the assaults carried out when you were employed as a teacher and the age of the child involved means we’re not going to accept jurisdiction on this court.”

Farms was granted conditional bail ahead of his next court appearance at Durham Crown Court on December 5.

Until that date, Farms, represented by Peter Hamill, will not have any unsupervised access to any child under the age of 16.