Sex-charge chaplain released on bail

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The Independent Online
A CHAPLAIN at a boys' public school who was charged by German police with importing child pornography has been freed on bail and is preparing to fly home.

The Rev Andrew Swindells, 32, assistant chaplain at the pounds 4,300-a-term Tonbridge School in Kent, was arrested in a swoop by undercover vice detectives in Munich, Germany on Saturday.

He was allegedly caught handing over a sexually explicit video tape containing footage of young teenage boys to another man, during an operation to break up a pornography smuggling racket.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The judge had granted him [Swindells] bail but had placed him in custody after he was unable to raise the money."

She was unable to confirm who had paid the bail of about pounds 1,200 but it is reported that the school's bursar, Ray Hart, flew out to Germany and used school funds to pay the money.

Mr Hart is accompanying Rev Swindells on the school-funded flight home and the pair are due to arrive back in Kent this morning, according to a report in today's Times.

Kent Police carried out a search of his home at the boys' school after a tip-off from detectives in Munich. Several items were seized and taken away for further investigation.