A FORMER teacher gave "treats" to one of his pupils in return for sexual favours when he worked at a private school in Taunton, a court has heard.

Spanish teacher Christopher Pollard faces 11 counts of indecent assault on at least 23 occasions on the boy who was under 16 and studying at Taunton School at the time.

Pollard, 69, of Montrose Avenue, Queens Park, London, and formerly of Madrid, denies all the charges dating back more than 40 years at his trial at Taunton Crown Court, which is expected to last into next week.

Mary McCarthy, prosecuting, said the boy had been unhappy at school until he got a role in a play directed by Pollard, who was an assistant housemaster and lived on the school campus.

"The boy then began to be included with a group of pupils with whom Mr Pollard was very friendly," added Miss McCarthy.

"There would be times when alcohol was given to pupils in those gatherings. That clearly transformed his time at school."

She said there would often be sexual banter and Pollard, who was widely known to be gay, would discuss who he fancied.

Pollard sometimes took the boy to the pub where other teachers and pupils were present and on one occasion after a few drinks they returned to the teacher's room, where the first assault took place, it is alleged.

Miss McCarthy said: "The defendant cleaned himself up and took the boy home, asked him if he was alright and he was. It was something he (the boy) found acceptable. There were thereafter many many incidents when it was repeated."

She said Pollard "took risks" but was careful what he said about the relationship in public.

There were several more assaults in Pollard's room and in his car and he took the boy and other pupils on trips to the theatre, London and Oxford, where the victim was assaulted, the court heard.

Miss McCarthy said the boy, despite wanting to end the relationship, felt it was worth complying because of the "treats" Pollard gave him.

The defendant later resigned as assistant housemaster and bought his own house "so it would be easier to be together" with the pupil, but they never met up once the teenager left school, it was claimed.

He went back to school soon after leaving and handed a dossier of his allegations to the headmaster, Barry Sutton, who was not in post when the offences are said to have taken place.

Pollard resigned after being interviewed by Mr Sutton, but the victim went to police in 2016 and the defendant denied he ever had a sexual relationship with the boy.

A list of witnesses in the case read to the jury included BBC newsreader Tim Willcox and they were also told that Pollard taught at Dillington House.

The trial continues.