Sunderland school worker faces child sex offence charges

Shiney Row Primary School
Shiney Row Primary School
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A MAN who has worked at a Wearside primary school is facing a string of alleged child sex offences, the Echo can reveal.

Robert Fothergill, 46, who has been employed by Shiney Row Primary School on a temporary contract, was arrested as part of an investigation by North Yorkshire Police probe into child protection.

The safeguarding of children is our highest priority and I want to reassure you that all appropriate child protection procedures and safeguards are followed at the school at all times to ensure the safety and welfare of your children.

Paul Ashton, headteacher of Shiney Row Primary School

Fothergill, who is from the Richmond area of North Yorkshire, appeared at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court last month charged with three offences of distributing indecent images of children, one offence of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two offences of sexual activity with a child.

Fothergill, of White Lands, in Richmond, has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Teesside Crown Court next month for a preliminary hearing.

Parents told the Echo they were given a letter about the allegations on picking up their children from the school, in Rear View South, on Monday afternoon.

It states that there is no suggestion that any allegations relate to Mr Fothergill’s work at the school, and that all have child safety procedures have been followed by staff.

Written by headteacher Paul Ashton, the letter sent out to parents reads: “I am writing to make you aware that Mr Robert Fothergill, who was employed by the school on a temporary part-time contract, is currently the subject of a multi-agency child protection investigation led by North Yorkshire Police.

“The investigation relates to alleged incidents in the Richmond area of North Yorkshire where Mr Fothergill lives.

“There is no evidence that any incidents have taken place in this school or the Sunderland area.

“Mr Fothergill has been arrested, charged and is remanded in custody.

“The safeguarding of children is our highest priority and I want to reassure you that all appropriate child protection procedures and safeguards are followed at the school at all times to ensure the safety and welfare of your children.”

When contacted by the Echo, the school said it would be innapropriate to comment further at this time.