A court heard that Marcus Marcussen, 91, a retired PE teacher who taught at Illminton Road Comprehensive School in Weoley Castle, was a “sadistic bully” who sexually abused schoolboys for three decades.

Sarah Buckingham, prosecuting, said pupils in Birmingham were threatened with a rod that “looked like a whalebone” and forced to swim naked.

Fifteen boys, aged under 16, are alleged to have been assaulted between 1957 and 1978.

Miss Buckingham opened the case by saying that the defendant was known for his work in the community and also helped disadvantaged boys but “hid behind a veneer of respectability”.

“He used his position over many years to sexually assault boys” Miss Buckingham said.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that the abuse happened during and after PE lessons at the school and at a swimming club called the Square Club in Weoley Castle.

The jury heard that the case came to light after one of the alleged victims sought help after suffering from a breakdown and that reports of the court case in the media led to others coming forward.

The case continues.

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