A former teacher at the boarding school attended by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has gone on trial accused of kissing and putting his arm around a pupil.

Simon Taylor, the former head of drama at Winchester College, faces two counts of sexual activity with a boy who was aged between 16 and 17 at the time of the alleged offences.

Tim Moores, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court that the complainant, who was a boarder, sought pastoral support from the defendant, who is now aged 78, during a period when the complainant was struggling with his studies because of problems at home.

Hampshire Chronicle: Simon Taylor outside Winchester Crown CourtSimon Taylor outside Winchester Crown Court (Image: Solent News)

Mr Moores said that Taylor had comforted the complainant when he had become upset and he had given the teenager a hug which is not part of the alleged offending.

The complainant then began visiting the teacher at his college-provided home for continuing “psychological support”.

Mr Moores said that such visits were not “considered to be unusual” at the school and added: “It wasn’t considered untoward or noteworthy by either staff or pupils.”

The prosecutor said that during one of the visits, the complainant claimed that Taylor “put his arm around him and kissed him on the lips”.

Mr Moores continued: “He didn’t use his tongue but kissed him three or four times and (the complainant) described it as a full-on kiss. The defendant had his mouth open and it wasn’t just a peck, it was not reciprocated.”

He added that the defendant also told the complainant that he loved him.

Mr Moores said the complainant did not ask Taylor to stop because “he felt the friendship was valuable and didn’t want to appear ungrateful”.

He said that the visits continued in the following year and it was alleged that Taylor repeated the kisses on four occasions but at no point attempted to touch the complainant in any other way sexually.

Mr Moores said that after the complainant turned 18 he stayed for a night with the defendant and shared a bed with him where there was further “kissing and cuddling”.

Explaining the allegations as an abuse of trust, Mr Moores said: “He knew how old (the complainant) was and the defendant knew he was his teacher and in a position of trust.

“Any form of sexual touching of (the complainant) is prohibited and that is regardless of whether (the complainant) consented to it or whether the defendant believed he was consenting.

“This is a law specifically designed to protect under-18s from situations where they may be let willingly or otherwise into sexual activity while in a position of authority of them.”

The complainant did not appear in court, with the jury instead being played a recorded interview he gave to the police.

In it, the complainant said that, while the relationship was not sexual, he felt that Taylor expected him to sleep with the teacher.

He said: “There was an expectation that I would have been willing to sleep with him if it had not been for my Christian faith and the fact that I had a girlfriend at the time. And I told him that.”

The claimant also said that, the night he shared the bed with Taylor, it was because he “felt like he owed him” for their relationship.

Mr Moores said that the defendant, who retired in 2013, denied kissing or cuddling the complainant or sharing a bed with him or “loving him in a sexual way” but described himself as an “inveterate hugger”.

Taylor, from the Bermondsey area of London, denies both charges and the trial continues.