Former school governor and soldier on trial for sex attacks watched gruesome beheading video repeatedly during ‘spiralling’ depression

ON TRIAL ... Gary Mason, former fire brigade civilian officer is accused of sex crimes.

ON TRIAL ... Gary Mason, former fire brigade civilian officer is accused of sex crimes.

A PERVERTED former school governor facing fresh sex charges has admitted watching a video of an infamous beheading while depressed.

Gary Mason, who denies nine charges of sexually assaulting the same schoolgirl, told a jury he viewed a gruesome video of British kidnap victim Ken Bigley being beheaded up to 30 times.

Mason, 52, is a former army captain who served in Iraq for two years after Mr Bigley was kidnapped and murdered while working as an engineer in Baghdad in 2004.

Referring to some of the videos he watched, he told Teesside Crown Court: “I was viewing some really horrible things. I was looking at beheadings and terrorist atrocities and stuff going on in Baghdad.

“It was just spiralling.”

Asked about the horrific internet video showing the beheading of Mr Bigley, he said: “I must have watched that 20 to 30 times.

“It was gruesome but I didn’t feel anything.”

The former school governor and Cleveland fire civilian officer was convicted of viewing child pornography from the internet at a previous trial.

The current sexual abuse allegations came to light after police discovered the child porn images on his home computers.

A girl claims he indecently touched her numerous times after overpowering her by pinning her down.

Jim Withyman, defending, told the ongoing trial at Teesside Crown Court: “The allegations are you were sexually abusing her. Is that true?”

Mason replied: “It’s not true at all. I never touched her.”

Mr Withyman added: “We have heard she would kick and punch you while you were doing this.”

Mason, who previously served on the board of governors for High Tunstall College of Science, in Hartlepool, said: “She never punched or kicked me.”

Quizzed about his previous conviction for child pornography Mr Withyman asked: “Have you ever found children sexually attractive?”

Mason said: “No I haven’t, although I’ve seen lots of it.”

He claimed he first stumbled across images of child abuse when he tried to download a Lord of the Rings film from a website.

Mason went on: “It’s like a Pandora’s box. You find it, immediately delete it and wonder what else is on there.

“A week later you get in a state of being miserable and depressed and go on there and delete it again.”

Mason said he “felt nothing” while he viewed the images and blamed it on spirals of “dark depressions”.

Mason, told the court how he had served with the regular Army for 22 years since he was 17 and then joinend Cleveland Fire Brigade as a fire investigator and arson reduction officer.

In 2005 he joined the Territorial Army and was posted to Baghdad to help the Americans in the War on Terror until 2007.

He now drives a truck for a living following his conviction for child porn in February 2011.

Mason, now of Broad Landings, South Shields, denies six charges of sexual assault and three of assault by penetration.

The trial continues.


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