Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
School caretaker accused of rape pleads not guilty
A school caretaker accused of raping a young girl more than 40 years ago is to stand trial in November.
Donald Flood, 58, was working as caretaker at Pool C of E Primary School, when he was charged earlier this year with a series of sexual offences dating back to 1969.
The allegations, which cover a period between 1969 and 1974, have no connection with school and all relate to the same female complainant.
Flood, who was wearing a dark blue t-shirt and dark green trousers, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his formal not guilty pleas during a 15-minute hearing before the Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC yesterday.
During the plea and case management hearing, the clerk read out details of five charges of rape and five allegations of indecent assault.
The complainant cannot be identified for legal reasons and Flood was aged only 14 or 15 when the first offence was allegedly committed.
Prosecuting counsel Kitty Taylor and Flood’s barrister Steven Crossley discussed the progress of the case with Judge Thomas and Mrs Taylor confirmed that a trial date had already been fixed for November 18.
Flood, whose bail address is understood to be at the school premises in Arthington Lane, Pool-in-Wharfedale, will have to return to Bradford Crown Court on September 20 for a further pre-trial hearing.
At the time of Flood’s first crown court appearance back in May, Jane Held, independent chairman of Leeds Safeguarding Children Board, said: “We are aware of the charges brought against Mr Flood for serious historical offences which are unconnected to any school in Leeds.
“The school acted quickly and appropriately and has been liaising with the police and the local authority throughout their inquiries.”