A HEADTEACHER of a Bangor secondary school accused of child sex abuse “believed he had become adept at covering his tracks,” a court heard.

Neil Foden, 66, of Gwynant, Old Colwyn, denies all charges put to him, which date from 2019 to 2023 and include five alleged victims.

His trial started at Mold Crown Court on April 22, with his charges as follows:

  • 13 counts of sexual activity with a child.
  • Two counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.
  • Causing/inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
  • Possessing indecent images of a child.
  • Sexual assault of a child.
  • Sexual communication with a child.
  • Attempting to arrange the commission of a child sexual offence.


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This morning (May 13), prosecuting barrister John Philpotts gave his closing statement to the 12-person jury.

Mr Philpotts claimed that the reason one of Foden’s alleged victims, known as Child A, first reported allegations in September 2023 was because “she’d known deep down what the defendant had been doing to her had been very, very wrong”.

In February 2023, Mr Philpotts said, Child A had been researching “are teachers allowed to hold your hand for comfort?”.

“Of course, Mr Foden accepts that he would hold her hand or hands - he says that was to comfort or to support her,” Mr Philpotts said.

“The prosecution say that the touching of a child’s hand was an early stage of the process that was to lead to far more serious physical and emotional abuse.”

Child A’s subsequent internet searches, and notes made on her mobile phone and in her diary, essentially documented Foden’s “grooming process”, Mr Philpotts added.

It is the position of Foden and his legal team that allegations levelled at him are fictitious.

But, Mr Philpotts claimed, “she (Child A) didn’t make them up shortly before her disclosures (in September 2023).

“When she researched in February 2023 ‘signs a teacher is grooming a student’, was she really laying the ground for a complaint to be made months and months later?”

Days before Child A reported Foden’s alleged misconduct, Mr Philpotts added, she had searched: “What does a school do if a student reports teacher misconduct?” and “How long can you go to jail for grooming and sex abuse?”

Mr Philpotts also asked why, if Foden was innocent, were his and Child A’s mobile numbers saved in each other’s phones under false names.

He said that Foden had “regarded his connection with Child A as effectively of boyfriend and girlfriend”.

WhatsApp messages shared between Foden and Child A also provided “highly significant pointers to the truth of the case,” Mr Philpotts added.

These included such topics of oral sex – though Foden claimed in his evidence that these were essentially for educational purposes.

“How can such messages possibly be appropriate between a headmaster and a child in any circumstances at all?,” Mr Philpotts asked the jury.

“The defendant’s explanation is absurd.”

Last week, the jury was told that indecent images on a phone seized from Foden had been deleted on the same day as his arrest last September.

This, Mr Philpotts suggested, was “no coincidence”, because Foden knew by then that “the game was up”.

In the case of another victim, Child E, it is claimed that she accompanied Foden on trips he made to South Wales for union matters; he refuted this in his evidence.

But, Mr Philpotts said, Child E took a photo from the room which staff at a South Wales hotel confirmed Foden had booked as an overnight stay.

He added that Foden was “careful to proceed slowly, step by step, with his abuse”.

Foden sat in the dock with his head bowed for much of Mr Philpotts' closing statement, occasionally shaking his head.

His defence barrister, Duncan Bould, is now delivering his own closing speech to the jury.