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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Ex-Cumbrian council chairman Tony Brunskill admits more child abuse

A disgraced former Cumbrian council chairman who was jailed for 10 years for a series of sexual offences against schoolboys has admitted abusing a fourth victim.

Tony Brunskill photo
Tony Brunskill

Tony Brunskill, a once successful businessman and public figure who was later unmasked as a sexual predator and paedophile, yesterday pleaded guilty to six new offences.

These were against another boy more than three decades ago.

The ex-public relations firm owner appeared by video link from Wakefield Prison to enter the pleas during a brief hearing at Preston Crown Court.

These latest uncovered crimes, carried out between 1979 and 1981, emerged after he was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court last summer for offences against three schoolboys.

The court heard the publicity surrounding the offences he was sentenced for last year prompted the latest victim to come forward.

Brunskill, 66, who used to hold the chair at Eden District Council, appeared before magistrates last month and was brought to the higher court for his latest court appearance.

Wearing a grey top, he stared dejectedly down at his lap throughout the 20-minute hearing but spoke loudly and confidently when entering his pleas.

Brunskill, formerly of Salkeld Dykes, Penrith, pleaded guilty to the five specimen charges of indecent assault against a boy aged 11 or 12 between July 1979 and July 1981.

He also admitted a further more serious sexual assault against the same boy during the same period.

Judge Anthony Russell, QC, said this final charge was a more serious sexual offence than those admitted last year.

The case was adjourned until February 16, when Brunskill will be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court before the city’s most senior judge, Paul Batty, QC.

Chris Evans, representing Brunskill, said: “My client wishes to avoid any delay in sentencing.”

Yesterday’s conviction is the latest twist in Brunskill’s spectacularly public humiliation and fall from grace.

Known for his bonhomie and his trademark bowtie, he was renowned for his flamboyance and slick professional confidence.

But in July last year, Brunskill was jailed after he admitted 20 offences, all against schoolboys.

Judge Batty, who sentenced Brunskill, said he had shattered the lives of the boys he had abused and their families.

The Carlisle hearing last year was told Brunskill’s offences included: Sexually grooming a boy near Penrith; seven charges of sexual activity with him; nine offences of indecently assaulting a teenage pupil boy at Rossall School in Fleetwood, Lancashire, where he was an
English teacher in the 1970s; three of indecently assaulting a younger boy there.

The court heard Brunskill’s interest in motorsport allowed him to befriend the schoolboys and once he had done so he committed a series of sexual crimes on them.

Brunskill was banned indefinitely from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 and banned from working – either paid or voluntarily – in any position that might bring him into contact with young people.

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