‘Everybody knew what he was like and knew to stay away from him’
The sexual abuse of boys by notorious paedophile teacher Lindsay Brown was so well known pupils once joked about it in an end of year assembly, Sunday Life can reveal.
It was during Brown’s time at Cregagh Technical School that he began sexually assaulting children which would continue for the rest of his three-decades long educational career.
One ex-pupil of the east Belfast establishment has now claimed Brown’s targeting of younger boys was well known and even mocked during his time there in the 1960s.
He said that during a comedy routine by boys at one end of year assembly they impersonated some of the teaching staff, including Brown.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they mimicked Brown by one boy pretending to cuddle and slap another.
“Even Brown was laughing and everybody knew who they meant,” he recalled.
“Everybody knew what he was like and knew to stay away from him, he was called ‘Fruity Brown’, that was his nickname.
“The first time I met him was when I was sent down to his classroom to get something and the first thing he did was put his arm around me and started hugging me.”
Brown left the Cregagh Technical School in 1968 to join the prestigious Bangor Grammar School where he abused boys until he retired having rose to become vice principal.
He was eventually arrested and convicted of child sex offences in 1998 and jailed but walked free after spending just three years in prison.
In 2020 another of his victims from Bangor Grammar made a complaint to police and Brown was arrested and brought before the courts to face six charges of historic child sexual abuse.
Last August the 81-year-old was jailed for eight months but walked free almost immediately due to time served on remand.
But it emerged last month that Brown began abusing boys years before he joined the staff of Bangor Grammar.
One his victims at Cregagh Technical School bravely approached Sunday Life to speak about being targeted by Brown after having reported the incidents to police.
The same pupil who remembers Brown’s behaviour being mocked by pupils said he was also briefly involved with Cregagh Boys Club, known as the club which started George Best’s football career.
“It just didn’t start when he hit 30 and went to Bangor Grammar, it was way before that,” he said.
“When all the stuff came out about Bangor Grammar none of us were surprised at that but in those days people laughed things like off but it wouldn’t be like that now.
“It was about 1967 he was at Cregagh Boys Club but he didn’t last long and one mother came down and slapped him in the face and said he wasn’t fit to look after children after her son was physically abused by him.”
The man said Brown then left the club, telling others it was mainly concerned with football in which he had no interest.
There is no suggestion that any member of staff at the Cregagh Technical School or the Cregagh Boys Club had knowledge of Brown’s sexual assaults on pupils at the time, nor that anyone at Bangor Grammar knew of his paedophilic behaviour before he joined that school.
Brown spent many years living in the northern French town of Pirou until his most recent conviction and is believed to still be in Northern Ireland due to the residency conditions of his sexual offences prevention order.