A MUSIC teacher charged with possessing four paedophile manuals and sexually abusing his pupils said his actions were of a ‘joking nature’.

Nicholas Fisher, 43, from Bartestree, is currently on trial at Worcester Crown Court charged with 10 counts of sexual offences against seven girls between 2000 and 2016.

He was found not guilty of two of the charges after prosecution offered no evidence in relation to two of the charges.

Fisher, taking the stand on Monday, said he “enjoyed playing around and having fun” with the girls but denied sexual offences.

“The tickling would have been along those lines and I was being a big kid,” he told the jury.

“I taught quite a lot of children and didn’t treat any children differently.

“It would be a quick tickle under their arms and on top of the ribs. I wouldn’t tickle them very often and it was the sort of fun joking behaviour I have done in the past. I got absolutely no sexual gratification.”

Fisher added that “from time to time” he would have the younger pupils sat on his lap but it was never something he instigated.

He added that this would be while he was playing the keyboard and demonstrating how to play something.

“They might jump across and perch on my knee but it was not something I would instigate,” said Fisher.

Fisher admitted that he used to hug pupils at the beginning and end of lessons for a couple of seconds, but that there was no sexual reason for it.

He added that he would invite parents to watch the lessons with students.

When police investigated Fisher’s laptop, they found non-indecent images of the complainants.

Fisher admitted that he had saved a picture from Facebook of a pupil in preparation for making a recording CD which was never concluded.

He said that images of children he allegedly abused in a private setting must have been saved when repairing computers for friends and backing them up onto his laptop.

Fisher also denies further counts of making indecent images of category A, B and C and of making a moving photograph of a child category A and B.

He also denies three separate counts of possessing a paedophile manual including one entitled How to Practise Child Love.

“If I knew indecent images were on there they would have been deleted,” said Fisher.

“I may have accidentally put them in a folder but I certainly didn’t know what was on them.

“I had no intention at all of trying to download any content of that nature.

“I do recall having some things of a very unsavoury nature and coming across a few things.

“It’s something I would have moved away from or deleted very quickly.

“I have never intentionally downloaded a paedophile manual and it wouldn’t be something I would want to open.”

Fisher previously pleaded guilty to possessing paedophilic material between May 2015 and November 2016 – namely an item which was a web page titled Jazz Guide which contained advice about abusing children sexually.

Fisher said he downloaded the file from the ‘dark web’ thinking that it was music related.

He added: “Initially I accessed the dark web purely out of being inquisitive.

“I was told by colleagues at other music schools around the country about it.

“The music software we use in the studio is very expensive.

“Although it was not right this was a way to obtain software without paying.

“I was horrified by the indecent material and that Jazz Guides was anything other than jazz music.”

The trial continues.