Murder Accused Told Teacher He Was Being Abused

By Nigel Freedman
The Argus
September 9, 2010

A teenager told a teacher he was being sexually abused by a vicar a week before the priest died, a court was told.

Christine Baxter said she also raised her concerns with the police and lawyers after Christopher Hunnisett was arrested for murder.

Mrs Baxter, who is now retired and living in France, said neither side seemed to consider it relevant at the time.

Speaking by live link from the British Consulate in Bordeaux she said she was certain Hunnisett had told her about the alleged abuse before Ronald Glazebrook died.

She said: "The reverend used to walk his dog in the park opposite our house.

"I know he was still alive because we saw him with the dog within a couple of days of Christopher's disclosure."

Hunnisett, is alleged to have drowned the 81-year-old vicar in the bath at the flat they shared in Dane Road, St Leonards, in 2001.

Hunnisett, who was 17 at the time, then dismembered his body and got a friend to help him dispose of the remains.

He was found guilty of the murder in 2002 but the conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal earlier this year and a retrial ordered.

Mrs Baxter told a jury at Lewes Crown Court yesterday (wed) that she had also written to Hunnisett's lawyers to express her concerns before the first trial.

In the letter she said Hunnisett had confided in her "on countless occasions" over the previous year that the vicar had made "lewd advances" and attempted to "force" him into a sexual relationship.

She added that Hunnisett also told her that he had to barricade his bedroom door with furniture and would sneak back in late at night to avoid the vicar.

Mrs Baxter said: "He was emphatic that he could not return home because he did not want to tell his mother what had happened.

"He said he would be alright but I asked him to speak to his father about it."

Hunnisett, now 26, had earlier told the court that he had argued with the vicar about having friends to stay at the flat.

He said Mr Glazebrook had later gone into the bathroom while he was having a bath.

He claims the vicar sat on the edge of the bath and touched his inner thigh.

Hunnisett told the jury that he punched Mr Glazebrook on the side of the head as hard as he could.

He said the vicar fell head first into the bath on top of him and he had struggled to get out from underneath.

He said he fled from the bathroom and slammed the door before barricading himself in his room by moving the bed across the door.

He claims he did not realise the vicar was dead until he found him in the bath the next morning.

Philip Katz, QC, prosecuting, said the allegations of sex abuse were not raised at Hunnisett's first trial.

Hunnisett, formerly of Coventry Road, St Leonards, denies murder.

The trial continues.

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