Former Gordonstoun teacher accused of ‘chasing’ pupils while naked in pool

Andrew Keir arriving at Elgin Sheriff Court

A former teacher at Gordonstoun has been accused of “chasing” pupils while naked in the school’s swimming pool.

Retired physics teacher Andrew Keir, who now lives in Cheshire, has gone on trial at Elgin Sheriff Court to face allegations dating back nearly three decades.

Yesterday two students who were taught by the 67-year-old told the court that they had all joined in “larking about” in the pool one evening.

However, both recalled the evening taking a turn when Keir removed his trunks before “chasing” them in the water to get them to do the same.

One former pupil described the teacher “grabbing” him following the pursuit, attempting to “push” his face against his before “rubbing” his penis on the student’s leg – another recalled the teacher “pulling” at his trunks.

Keir, who taught at the Duffus school near Elgin where Prince Charles and other members of the royal family were educated, denies all the allegations against him.

One student recalled the teacher taking him and other boys to the swimming pool one evening between November 1988 and March 1989 on a visit outside normal activity.

He described the group playing games in the water before Keir suggested turning off the lights “to make it more fun”.

The man explained that the staff member, who was also an assistant house master responsible for monitoring students, was the first to take his trunks off in the pool before they continued “chasing” each other.

He said: “He (Keir) approached me and grabbed hold of me and attempted to push his face against my face. At that point his penis rubbed against my leg.”

Fiscal Alison Young said: “So his face was against your face?”

The man replied: “I remember his stubble and bristle up against me.”

But defence advocate Susan Duff suggested the former student could not be certain what part of Keir’s body has touched his leg.

She said: “How did the light from outside illuminate under the water? How can you be certain what part of his body touched you?”

The man said: “I know the difference between physical anatomy.”

Mrs Duff asked: “To tell the difference between skin on skin contact?”

The man replied: “It was his penis.”

After chasing the boys in the swimming pool, Keir is then alleged to have joined the youngsters naked in the communal shower.

Another former student, who was also present during the alleged incident, explained the teacher “discussed penises” with the pupils during that evening.

The man said: “I don’t remember the context but I remember it feeling inappropriate.”

Mrs Young asked: “In what way?”

He replied: “Quite simply, talking to an adult and teacher while in the shower with no clothes on and talking about penises.”

Both men explained the incident was reported to the school chaplain within days of the alleged encounter but they were never questioned about it further. They both returned to the pool on several other occasions with Keir without concerns.

However, Jeremy Bridgeford, who was a house master at the time, told the court he had not been made aware of any complaint – and he had only learned of the allegations last year.

Keir, of Calveley in Cheshire, denies two charges of using lewd, libidinous or indecent practices, two charges of indecent assault and two charges of conducting himself in a disorderly manner.

The trial, before Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov, continues today.