Thorpe Hall School, Southend

Thorpe Hall School, Southend

Operation Spade

The head of the National Crime Agency has apologised for exposing children to harm from a paedophile teacher after senior officers failed to pass on a tipoff about him for more than a year.

In July 2012, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (Ceop), which is now part of the NCA, received a warning about Martin Goldberg, deputy headmaster at Thorpe Hall school in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, from a Canadian police investigation into images of child abuse.

However, it only contacted Essex police in November 2013 to issue a warning that Goldberg had bought videos from a Canadian seller of images of naked boys. When he was finally confronted by Essex police last month, following another 10-month delay caused by further failings by the local force, more than 1,000 illegal images of boys taken using a secret camera were found in his possession. Of those images, 75 had been taken in the school changing room and 465 were taken at the local swimming pool changing room. Goldberg killed himself the day after police confronted him.

The Guardian 14/10/14

Essex police have apologised to parents at Thorpe Hall school in Southend-on-Sea for failing to properly investigate, for over a year, evidence that the deputy headmaster may have been a paedophile.

Martin Goldberg, 46, killed himself in early September, within a day of him being confronted by police over videos of naked boys he had bought online. After he died it emerged he had been filming and photographing dozens of boys in the changing rooms of the fee-paying school using a camera secreted in a rucksack.

The Guardian 03/10/13

Police under fire after ‘delaying’ investigation into paedophile teacher for nine months

A deputy head teacher who secretly filmed hundreds of pupils undressing in school changing rooms was not questioned by police for nine months despite intelligence to suggest he was a paedophile, it has emerged.

Martin Goldberg, 46, a maths teacher at the Thorpe Hall School in Southend, Essex, is thought to have taken his own life earlier this month, the day after police attended his home and questioned him about allegations he had bought indecent films featuring young boys.

When police searched his house following his death they discovered more than 400 voyeuristic films and still images of children undressing, taken using a secret camera hidden in his school, a swimming pool and local leisure centre.

 It has now emerged that Essex Police were tipped off about the unmarried teacher’s activities as early as November last year, but only questioned him for the first time three weeks ago.

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