Trial of teacher accused of abuse delayed over barrister injury

The trial of a former sports teacher accused of sexual abusing students at a top private school has been delayed after his barrister was taken to hospital.

Ajaz Karim, 63, of Hammersmith in West London, denies nine charges of indecent assault and one attempted indecent assault against six girls at Christ's Hospital School in Horsham, West Sussex, between 1985 and 1993.

As well as working as head coach at the school for 10 years from 1985, the sports consultant held the same position at Eton College for eight years from 2008, and also at The Hurlingham Club for 12 years
from 2003, as well as being head of squash at Queen's Club for 32 years until last year, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Christ's Hospital School in Horsham, West Sussex (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Christ's Hospital School in Horsham, West Sussex (Gareth Fuller/PA)

He was due to stand trial on Tuesday at Brighton Crown Court, but the proceedings were delayed after his defence barrister Jonathan Davies sustained a head injury.

Calling Karim into court to explain the delay, Judge Christine Henson said: "Your barrister Mr Davies had an accident this morning and is currently in hospital.

"He is seeing a doctor at the moment but realistically, given the time and given he has hit his head and isn't feeling very well, it seems we are not going to be able to make any progress today."

She released Karim on bail to return to court on Wednesday when the trial is now expected to begin.

The prosecution is part of a wider police investigation into separate allegations of abuse by other former teachers at the school.

Founded in the 16th century, Christ's Hospital charges boarders up to £31,500 a year and counts Sir Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb, and poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge as alumni.

Pupils still wear a Tudor-style uniform consisting of a long blue coat and high yellow socks.