William Vahey child abuse: International paedophile could have abused in London school

The paedophile who abused over 90 children worldwide could have molested boys in London school

The FBI has appealed for up to 90 potential victims of William Vahey, a prolific paedophile who taught at a top private school in London, to come forward after it was claimed senior staff there complained vetting process for teachers were inadequate three years ago.

William James Vahey, 64, committed suicide in Minnesota on 21 March, two days after FBI agents filed a warrant to search a computer thumb drive belonging to him containing pornographic images of at least 90 boys aged from 12 to 14, who appeared to be drugged and unconscious.

Vahey worked at the Southbank International School in London, where he taught pupils aged 11-16 history and geography between 2009 and 2013.

Before his death, Vahey admitted to a school administrator at the American Nicaraguan School in Nicaragua, where he was teaching at the time, that he had “preyed on boys his entire life” and “he would give them sleeping pills prior to molesting them".

According to The Guardian, a regulatory report by the Independent Schools Inspectorate warned the central London school over its hiring procedures a year after Vahey was hired.

The school said inspectors had complained criminal records bureau checks were not being kept up to date.

Sir Chris Woodhead, the chair of governors, confirmed the Met Police had informed him that pupils at the school were targeted by Vahey. Earlier, he told Sky News he felt physically sick when he heard the news, adding: "This is the worst thing that I've ever been involved in in 40 years of education."

"It is relevant that queries were raised by the inspectors about some aspects of our compliance," Mr Woodhead, said. "That doesn't mean that Vahey wasn't recruited in the proper manner."

It is now suspected that the Vahey carried out child abuse on a global scale during a teaching career that lasted 40 years and saw him teach in at least 10 different countries.

In an attempt to gauge the scale of Vahey's abuse, FBI agents are appealing to current and former students that may have been aware of his actions to speak to them.

One particular area that the FBI is keen to explore is whether or not Vahey abused children on overnight field trips he organised and led for the children.

The revelations have come as a massive shock to staff and parents at the £25,000-a-year private school.

One mother, who has a 13-year-old son who was part of one of Vahey’s field trips last year, said she “couldn’t sleep for worrying about it” and that she had to “sit her son down” and ask him if anything had ever happened in to him at school.

Vahey was arrested for child molestation in his native America in 1969. The school said it had conducted checks dating back 17 years and did not pick up the conviction.

The school is now planning to hold a meeting with parents within the next 24 hours and support will be offered to parents and pupils that may have been abused.

FBI special agent Patrick Fransen said that he had never seen abuse on this scale ever before and that the fact that Vahey would molest boys while they were unconscious meant that there could be many victims that are completely unaware that anything had happened to them.

Scotland Yard said it was helping the FBI with its inquiries.

A spokesman said: "Officers from the sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse investigation team are assessing and evaluating intelligence passed to the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) by US authorities, and actively seeking any evidence whilst working with partner agencies to ensure that potential victims are supported."

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