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Drama school professor 'spanked male students', court told

Jurors told of allegations of massages being offered and students being bent over defendant's knee while he spanked them

A music professor from one of Britain’s top drama schools allegedly spanked students for sexual enjoyment during private one-to-one lessons, a court has heard.

Ross Campbell, former head of music at the Guildford School of Acting (GSA), is accused of sexually abusing male pupils after luring them to his home for private tuition.

The 56-year-old, from Oldwood Close in Farnborough, denies four counts of indecent assault and seven of sexual assault while at GSA, which he left in 2011.

Mr Campbell is accused of assaulting three men he taught at the institution – whose alumni include Brenda Blethyn OBE, Michael Ball and Bill Nighy – between 2003 and 2011.

Brian Stork, prosecuting, told a jury at Guildford Crown Court on Wednesday (May 28) that the defendant was one of the most senior tutors at the drama school.

Jurors heard Mr Campbell allegedly made a student bend over his knee while he spanked him after telling him he had been a naughty boy, and reduced another to tears after thrashing his buttocks for a poor rendition of a song.

Mr Stork said: “The difficulty we suggest is this defendant overstepped the mark somewhat and allowed the personal to overlap the professional.

"This gentleman overpowered three individuals to enable himself to get a kick for his sexual gratification, employing certain methods that were wholly inappropriate.”

The jury heard Mr Campbell was the "go-to" teacher for singing and it was known that, if students wanted to develop skills, they could approach him for private tuition.

One of his former singing students told jurors the teacher told him to call him ‘Daddy’ and offered him a massage, but said he needed to be completely naked.

The student said he laughed off the spanking comments at first and even as the situation developed, when he believed his teacher was being inappropriate, he went along with it because he trusted Mr Campbell.

Following his arrest, the defendant gave a "no comment" interview, while police found material on his computer relating to spanking and corporal punishment, the court heard.

He denies any wrongdoing and claims he did nothing without the consent of the other party, or that it was not a legitimate singing technique.

The trial continues.

 

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