Teacher on child porn charges

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The Independent Online
A senior teacher at a leading public school has been charged with child pornography offences.

Director of music, Adrian Stark, 33, was arrested after a search at St John's School, at Leatherhead, in Surrey, on Wednesday. A police spokes- man stated that " a quantity of obscene material, involving children, have been seized."

He was charged with three counts of possessing indecent photographs of children. He has been released on police bail pending further investigations.

The school governors suspended him on the day of his arrest, and a spokesman stressed that before his appointment references were obtained and vetting procedures undertaken in accordance with Department of Education and Employ- ment recommendations.

Before joining St John's in September l995, Mr Stark, who is unmarried, was on the staff of Hurstpierrepoint College, in West Sussex.

Police sources said that there would be wide-ranging inquiries into Mr Stark's background, including the time spent in previous employment.

St John's was founded in St John's Wood, north-west London, in 1851 as a small choir school for the education of sons of the clergy. It moved to Leatherhead in 1872. At present, it has 395 boys, including 100 boarders, and 45 girls in its sixth-form. Last year the fees were pounds 3,700 per term for boarders and pounds 2,550 for day pupils.

The school's bursar, Christopher Pelley, said: "Mr Stark's employment with the school was suspended on the day of his arrest by Surrey Police. The school has refused to make any further statements.

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