Police investigate public school paedophile ring (25.08.96)

The Sunday Times, 25th August 1996

By Stephen Grey

SCOTLAND YARD detectives are investigating allegations of a paedophile network involving teachers from some of Britain’s top public schools.
The paedophile and child pornography unit is inquiring into a ring of private school staff who allegedly exchange information, boast of abusing youngsters and travel abroad together on “sex tours”. At least six teachers have been questioned and their homes raided as inquiries continue into the ring that has links to some of the most notorious paedophiles in Britain.
The paedophile unit has been assisted by detectives from forces around the country as well as social workers.
The inquiry began after a former teacher at Abberley Hall preparatory school in Herefordshire allegedly confessed to a colleague to being part of a huge network of paedophiles. Abberley Hall, which charges Pounds 2,500 a term for boarders, confirmed last week that both teachers were no longer on staff.
The former teacher claimed that he had had sex with “hundreds and hundreds” of boys and named teachers at six other leading establishments. There was no suggestion that any abuse took place at the schools.
Trips for the teachers to indulge in child abuse with “rent boys” have allegedly been organised to countries including the Philippines, Czech Republic, Romania, Albania, Thailand and even Bosnia.
“These people decided a few years ago it was no longer safe to talk openly of abusing kids in this country, but decided they were perfectly safe abroad. At home they content themselves with sick pictures of child abuse,” said one source.
Although full details cannot be revealed for legal reasons, the investigation has involved a series of police raids, including one at the home of a head of department at a prominent London public school, where pornography was removed.
Another raid took place at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex. Last week Stephen Meek, headmaster of the Pounds 3,500-a-term school, confirmed that two staff had been dismissed after a police caution for the possession of indecent material. “It was nothing to do with pupils at the school,” he said.
Other teachers also named include three masters at another leading public school, two masters at two famous preparatory schools in the home counties, and a choir school teacher.
The teachers were said to exchange paedophile videos. When they feared police raids, they allegedly worked together to conceal material.
“Many of these teachers will be secure in the knowledge that they will never be prosecuted,” said one police source.
Also named as allegedly linked to the network are Peter Righton, the former childcare expert exposed as a paedophile, and Charles Napier, a former treasurer of the Paedophile Information Exchange and a former staff member of the British Council in Cairo who was jailed last year for sex assaults on youngsters in London.

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