AN assistant headteacher performed a sex act in front of children while supervising a Christmas party and sleepover, a court heard.
Matthew Hill, 40, who taught at Lyndhurst Junior School in Crofton Road, North End, Portsmouth, before his arrest is accused of performing the act during in his unconnected work as a volunteer at Buckland Park Play Centre in Malins Road, Buckland. Portsmouth,
Portsmouth Crown Court heard Hill was one of four adults who had volunteered to supervise the group of about 18 children aged between seven and 14 on the night of the alleged incident.
Hill, of Mallory Crescent, Fareham, denies committing an act of a lewd, obscene and disgusting nature and outraging public decency.
The court heard children had started to arrive at the centre from about 5.30pm where they enjoyed a Christmas dinner and played games, made sweets, watched films and took part in karaoke.
Some of the children started settling down and going to bed from about 10.30pm.
Hill was initially sleeping on a mat on his own in the main hall in the same room as a group of children at the sleepover.
The court heard that a woman who was among the adults present got up at 3.15am and she and Hill went outside together for about five minutes to have a cigarette.
Shortly after their return Hill got up and said to a child that he was going to move into the back room because he was cold.
He picked up his bedding and was seen by site manager Nicola Andrews, who had woken up in the back room, entering the room.
Iain Wicks, prosecuting, said: ‘It must have been, it’s thought, about 5.30am when Nicola Andrews woke up again. As she looked across the room she was able to see the defendant.
‘He had now positioned himself between the child ‘M’ and the child ‘B.’
‘’B’ was under a quilt fast asleep, facing the defendant.
He said that Mrs Andrews suddenly realised that the defendant was commiting a sex act.
Mr Wicks added: ‘She noticed that the defendant’s eyes were open and that he was looking at the child ‘B.’
‘Mrs Andrews watched for perhaps no more than five seconds and then she coughed and moved in a charade of waking up.’
Mr Wicks said Mrs Andrews then looked across and saw Hill had stopped and had closed his eyes.
The 12-strong jury heard Mrs Andrews got up and alerted the supervisor who had earlier been concerned.
The pair went into the office area, but then Mrs Andrews went back out and told Hill she needed to speak to him in the office.
Mr Wicks said: ‘He was confronted by Nicola Andrews with what she had seen.
‘He denied it. He said he wouldn’t do anything like that, perhaps he had been asleep and he wouldn’t do anything like that.
‘Nicola Andrews told the defendant that he would have to leave and he obliged and did so.’
The court heard Hill sent a text message at about 6.11am that day. It read: ‘I can’t believe what’s happened I don’t know what you think you saw but I swear I’ve done nothing wrong. Please when you’re finished at work call me.’
But the police had already been called.
Officers arrived at Hill’s home at about 7.45am and he was arrested.
Hill is alleged to have committed the offence in the early hours of December 23 2012.