A PUBLIC school teacher has fought back tears in the dock as he repeatedly denied abusing a pupil during music sessions when he worked at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.

Sean Ambrose Farrell, a University of York graduate and former organ scholar at York Minster, said he had never kissed or touched the boy inappropriately while working as a gap year student at the school in the 1980s.

“That did not happen ever,” he told a jury at York Crown Court.

He also said he had never had any sexual interest in a male or a child.

Farrell, 50, of Abbeyfield Court, Riddings Road, Ilkley, said he was called in last October by the head teacher at Wellington College, a leading public school in Berkshire, where he taught music, to be told an allegation had been made against him.

“I felt sick that anybody could have made an allegation,” he said.

“I didn’t know what it was.”

He fought back tears as he said he had been suspended by the school and issued with an interim order barring him from teaching, and he had been barred from being alone with his children under police bail conditions and unable to live at the family home at the school.

Farrel denies four charges of indecent assault.

The court has already been told that Farrell was a former pupil of Ampleforth who had returned for a year as a member of the teaching staff during the 1980s, helping boys with music practice and tuition, and they regarded him as a teacher.

The prosecution alleged that he took advantage of a boy, beginning by massaging his shoulders and progressing to other types of indecent assault.

Farrell said he had worked over the years as assistant organist at cathedrals, including Wakefield and Rochester.

The trial continues.