THE FORMER chairman of the governing body of a top private school has appeared at court charged with sex offences against pupils.

Brian Richard Martin, 68, appeared at Harrogate Magistrates Court on Thursday accused of sexually assaulting children aged between 13 and 17 at Queen Ethelburga’s school in North Yorkshire.

He is said to have carried out the alleged offences relating to sexual activity with girls and boys at the independent school at Thorpe Underwood near York between 2005 and 2010.

The charges include inciting a girl aged between 15 and 17 in sexual activity and sexual touching of a boy aged 14 or 15 and another boy aged 13 or over.

Martin, of Ferrensby, Knaresborough, pleaded not guilty to all seven offences.

Magistrates committed the case to York Crown Court, to be heard on February 9 and he was granted unconditional bail.

The former governor is already facing trial in relation to other previous charges.