A retired headmaster accused of repeated historic sex abuse of a young boy has labelled the allegations as a “pack of lies”.
Giving evidence to the Craigavon Crown Court jury on his own behalf, 71-year-old William Lloyd-Lavery said the claims against him were “disgusting”.
“I certainly did nothing of the kind,” he told defence QC Ciaran Mallon, declaring: “I’m quite outraged by it.”
Lloyd-Lavery, who was principal of Lurgan Technical College from 1992-97 and is from Richmond Avenue in Lisburn, is charged with 13 sex offences allegedly committed against his male victim on dates unknown between December 29, 1980 and February 1, 1988.
It is the Crown case that Lloyd-Lavery repeatedly abused the alleged victim between the ages of six and 13 in the defendant’s living room, by touching him inappropriately, masturbating in his presence, inciting the then schoolboy to touch the defendant’s private parts and by taking a Polaroid image of the complainant’s partially clothed body.
Giving evidence on Wednesday, the complainant claimed Lloyd-Lavery repeatedly told him “not to say anything” about the alleged abuse.
Questioned about the allegations, Lloyd-Lavery told Mr Mallon the account given by the complainant “is complete lies and nonsense [with] no truth in it whatsoever”.
Mr Mallon put the specifics of the allegations of the sex abuse to Lloyd-Lavery but the retired headmaster told the senior lawyer: “None of that is true. I never, ever did any of that. I find the idea completely revolting.”
The jury have already heard that Lloyd-Lavery was first questioned by police about the allegations in 1989 and that he denied any wrongdoing.
He said today that when he first heard the allegations, “I could hardly believe them”.
“You don’t want to believe that a child could come up with that sort of stuff or make it up but as the interview progressed, I began to realise that there was real malice here,” Lloyd-Lavery claimed.
He told the court and jury the claims against him are “ridiculous and a complete lack of lies”.
“There’s no truth in it – it didn’t happen hundreds of times, it didn’t happen once,” he declared.
Under cross-examination from prosecuting counsel Ian Tannahill, Lloyd-Lavery said he was “horrified” and “appalled” at the nature of the allegations when he first heard of them.
Commenting again that he felt there was “real malice” behind them, he told the lawyer he felt that “resentment” for what he described as his own “happy family life” could be the motivation behind them.
“It’s your belief that resentment in 1989 is the reason he is saying what he is saying,” asked Mr Tannahill.
“I’m saying it’s an explanation but what is important is that it did not happen and could not have happened,” Lloyd-Lavery replied.
“Explaining his motivation isn’t the point – the point is that it didn’t happen, it could not have happened, those are the key things.”
The trial continues.