Man claims he was sexually abused by German teacher at boarding school 30 years ago


A middle aged man told a jury today that he was sexually abused by his German teacher at a Hemel Hempstead boarding school three decades ago.

He alleged he could smell alcohol on the breath of David Yeld when he climbed onto the bunk bed in his dormitory at the privately-run Westbrook Hay Preparatory School.

The teacher is said to have got under the duvet, pulled the 10-year-old’s pyjama trousers down and touched his penis, St Albans Crown Court heard.

David Yeld, 59, who now lives in Salcombe Regis, Devon, pleads not guilty to one charge of indecent assault between October 5 1982 and October 7 1983.

Giving evidence on a police video, the man, who is now 42, said he was on the top of a bunk bed to the right of a door in the dormitory after lights out sometime between 8 and 9pm.

He went on: “Someone came in. I saw Mr Yeld my German teacher. He stood there for a little while. He came up to the bed. You could smell alcohol on him. It was like he had been drinking beers.

“Then he climbed into my bed and got under the covers. He started to take my top off. I tried to get away. I was saying: ‘Stop’. I can’t remember if he said anything. He pulled my trousers down and started touching me.

“I think he was trying to kiss me. He had a horrible moustache. I wriggled down to the bottom of the bed. I don’t know if the other boys were asleep or pretending to be asleep. I got off the bed and ran out of the door.”

The man said he ran to the office of the then headmaster Andrew Wright.

The court then heard that Wright himself was to later kill himself after being accused of sexually abusing children.

Prosecutor Laura Blackband said the boy’s parents spoke to the head at the time. Mr Yeld was dismissed from the school, but they decided it was not in their child’s best interests to contact the police at that time. She said he went to the police in May 2013. “It has preyed on his mind and blighted his life to a degree,” she said.

The jury heard that Mr Yeld was arrested in June 2013. At the time he was working as a supply teacher. He refused to answer police questions on that occasion, but when he was interviewed a second time in February 2014, he said what happened was a “practical joke.”

Mr Yeld told the officer he had been drinking with the headmaster and had gone to the dormitory by mistake and decided to play a joke by grabbing the boy’s clothing. He denied any sexual activity.

The case continues.