Counsellors aim to quell HIV fears

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The Independent Online
A TEAM of counsellors was on standby last night to calm fears that dozens of children in Cornwall may have been infected with the HIV virus by their former head teacher.

David Holman, now 58, was jailed for 18 months for indecency in December 1986. He has an undisclosed illness and worried health authority officials in the county have set up an emergency help line.

They acted after rumours spread around the area that Mr Holman had been diagnosed as HIV positive. Ron Spencer, the Cornish health authority's chief executive, said: 'The likelihood of risk is very small but we cannot rule it out absolutely.'

Mr Holman was head teacher at the primary school at Charlestown, Cornwall, until he was suspended in February 1986. At Plymouth Crown Court, he admitted indecently assaulting three boys and asked for five similar offences involving boys and two involving girls to be considered.

A total of 18 children were interviewed by police when they prosecuted him.