Teacher on porn charge found in sea (04.08.97)

The Times, 4th August 1997

A BODY pulled from the sea near Beachy Head was identified yesterday as Adrian Stark, the public school teacher charged with possessing indecent photographs of children.
Mr Stark, 33, was arrested on Thursday after police seized a large collection of material from his flat at St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey. He disappeared after he had been charged with three counts of having indecent photographs and released on bail.
On Saturday his Volvo was found at Beachy Head, East Sussex. A few hours later the crew of a motor cruiser spotted the partly clad body of a man three miles off the coast.
Dover coastguards said the condition of the body suggested a fall from the 550ft cliffs. Fingerprints were used to make a positive identification.
A Surrey Police spokesman said the material seized at Mr Stark’s home was still being studied. As yet, no one else was being investigated. An inquest will be held.
Commander Christopher Pelley, bursar of St John’s, said the school governors had learnt yesterday morning that the body had been formally identified.
He said Mr Stark, the director of music, had been at the school for two years and “in that time had proved to be a gifted musician and a talented teacher who was liked and respected by everyone in the St John’s community”.
Commander Pelley added: “We are desperately sorry to hear of his death and he will be sadly missed by everyone at the school. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with his family and friends.”
He said that a letter would be sent to the parents of all pupils during the coming week giving details of what had happened. He hoped that the letter would go some way to setting parents’ minds at ease.
St John’s School was founded in north London in 1851 to educate the sons of clergy. It moved to Leather-head in 1872. Many former pupils have trained for the ministry.
Viscount Montgomery of Alamein was chairman of the governors between 1951 and 1966. A house at the school is named after him. There are 395 boy pupils, including 100 boarders, and 45 girls in the sixth form. The fees last year were £3,700 per term for boarders and £2,550 for day pupils.
Mr Stark came to the school in 1995 from Hurstpierpoint College, West Sussex. Last year the chaplain at Hurstpierpoint and a science teacher were cautioned by police for possession of indecent material. The Rev Brian Boucher, 57, and Trevor Jones, 44, left their jobs afterwards. None of the pornography was connect-ed with pupils at the school.
Later reports suggested that address books seized during raids at schools had led to a police investigation into the possibility of a paedophile network involving public school teachers across Britain.

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