Teacher worked for two years after failure to act on abuse tip-off

Martin Goldberg was found dead the day after Essex police spoke to him at his home

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The Independent Online

A deputy headteacher suspected of secretly recording pupils undressing, continued working for more than two years after police twice failed to act on intelligence that he had bought suspected indecent images online, it has emerged. Martin Goldberg, 46, was found dead the day after he was spoken to by Essex police more than two years after Canadian police told their British counterparts that he had bought images that may have included naked teenage boys.

The intelligence was withheld for 16 months by the national police body charged with child protection before it was passed to Essex police.

It emerged that the local force then failed to approach Goldberg for another nine months until they visited him at his home in Shoeburyness on 10 September.

He was not arrested because of a lack of evidence but is thought to have killed himself the following day. A trawl of the computers owned by Goldberg – who worked at Thorpe Hall School in Southend – revealed that he recorded images of children at the school and other locations using a hidden camera. These pictures are believed to date back to 2000 and feature boys aged between nine and 12.

The case is the third that has come to light following delays by the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (Ceop), which sat on intelligence related to 2,345 suspects passed on by their counterparts in Toronto.

Myles Bradbury, a paedophile paediatrician, admitted 25 offences of sexual assault and the making of thousands of indecent images last month after a year-long delay in the investigation.

Another deputy headteacher, Gareth Williams, was jailed in Cardiff for five years after using secret cameras to record children.

The problems only came to light after the Canadians announced a series of arrests following a major operation in November last year. The NCA said that a “small number” of high-risk suspects had been identified in the earlier trawl.

Ceop has been dogged by claims of overwork and underfunding in processing and attempting to identify child abuse victims found online.

The police watchdog has already launched an inquiry into the NCA following the delays in processing information from the Toronto police authorities. It has since been passed  further details by Essex police about the latest problems.