Former Falkirk science teacher accused of molesting three teenage boys set for trial

The jury in the upcoming trial of a retired science teacher charged with molesting three teenage pupils could be viewing a “virtual room” to visualise the location of one of the alleged assaults.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 4:46 pm

Thomas Black (71), former Head of Biology at St Mungo’s Roman Catholic High School in Falkirk, faces three charges of indecently assaulting the boys, who were pupils at the school at the time.

It is alleged on a single occasion between August 1985 and May 1987 at the school he indecently assaulted one boy, then aged 15 to 17, by touching his privates parts over his clothing.

It is further alleged on various occasions between January 1989 and May 1991, again at the school, he touched and rubbed the body and private parts of another boy, then aged 15 to 17, through his clothing, and did the same to a third boy, aged 14 to 18, between August 91 and December 1995.

In the case of the third boy, it is alleged Black also indecently assaulted him while travelling in a car in Falkirk, and that he once removed the boy’s private parts from his clothing before committing a sexual act upon him.

All three alleged victims are now grown men in their 40s.

At a procedural hearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court today, Black, of Cardross Road, Dumbarton, pled not guilty to all three charges against him, and lodged notice of a special defence claiming consent by one of the alleged victims.

Solicitor-advocate Gerry Brown, defending, said Black had “no recollection or knowledge at all” of the first of the alleged victims.

Mr Brown said: “The location is a building that’s now been demolished. The actual location where these allegations occurred involve a room in a storeroom, and the geography is quite important.

“I have investigated obtaining an expert to produce a ‘virtual’ room – the actual room and the storeroom. The expert has now been identified and the issue remains for me to pursue.

“I think it will help. It’s a visual aid, just showing the jury, and the court, the makeup of the room. I have diagrams, and one photograph, and these will go this expert.”

The court was told at a previous hearing it was a matter of agreement Black was working at the school at the time as Head of Biology and the alleged victims were pupils at the establishment.

Sheriff Pino di Emidio continued the case for legal discussions at a further preliminary hearing on October 22 at Stirling Sheriff Court.