Man charged with school soup poison bid

A kitchen porter was charged today with attempting to poison pupils at a top public school.

Maxwell Cook, 57, was arrested in March after carrot and coriander soup due to be served to students at £27,000-a-year Stowe School was found to be laced with poison.

Thames Valley Police said: "The charge is in connection with an incident at Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, where sanitising destainer was added to soup prepared for service on March 11.

"The soup was not served to any pupils or staff and no-one was injured."

Cook, from Syresham, Brackley, Northamptonshire, has been charged with attempting to administer poison with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy.

He was released on conditional bail and will appear at Aylesbury Magistrates' Court on June 11.

Cook had worked at the school since January 2007 but has now been suspended.

No-one at the school, which has about 760 pupils, wished to comment on the matter today.

Past pupils include business tycoon Sir Richard Branson, journalist Sir Peregrine Worsthorne and jazz great George Melly.