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Last Updated: Friday, 4 August 2006, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Former teacher jailed for abuse
A former school teacher has been jailed for six years after being convicted of indecently assaulting young girls.

David Knight, 61, of Ladycroft, Kettlewell, in the Yorkshire Dales, was found guilty of 11 charges of indecent assault at Bradford Crown Court.

Knight worked at schools in Keighley, North Wales and Cornwall before being elected chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in 1996.

Some of the charges against him dated back more than 20 years.

They arose out of complaints made to the police by three women in 2005. The victims were aged between 11 and 13 at the time.

'Adolescence corroded'

Knight denied the accusations during a five-day trial at Bradford Crown Court. A jury took two-and-a-half hours to convict him unanimously on all 11 counts.

Jailing him on Friday, Judge Linda Sutcliffe said the victims' "adolescence had been corroded" by Knight.

She said: "They are living with the consequences of it. In the meantime you have gone from success to success, earning respect, regarded as an honourable person - while in reality you had this skeleton hanging in your cupboard."

The first complainant claimed Knight, who was living in Skipton, North Yorkshire, at the time, had indecently assaulted her on four occasions.

She told her mother when she was 17 but did not tell police until she saw press reports about an unconnected sex abuse case.

Department head

Her accusations led to another friend making further allegations of abuse and later a third complainant came forward to say she too had been indecently assaulted as a youngster.

Bruce Kent, who had been chairman of CND prior to Knight's election, described him as hard-working, reliable and honest.

The court was told Knight had been a teacher since 1968 and had taken up a post at a school near Keighley in 1974.

He became head of the mathematics department in 1991 but took early retirement from that job following his election as chairman of the CND in 1996.

Knight was banned from working with children and ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for life.


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