Head Describes 'Shock' Over Paedophile Essex Teacher

29 December 2014, 12:28 | Updated: 29 December 2014, 12:32

A headteacher has described how he was taken in by a paedophile teacher from Essex, who was found to have secretly filmed children, after taking his own life.

Martin Goldberg, 46, was found dead after police visited his home in Shoeburyness while investigating information passed to them by Canadian authorities that he had bought a video featuring images of naked boys.

After his death in September, Essex Police found that the deputy head at Thorpe Hall School in Southend had hundreds of images of boys as young as nine filmed in changing rooms using a hidden camera.

In the latest edition of the independent school's newsletter, headteacher Andrew Hampton said he had received a missed call from Goldberg the day before his body was found.

The next morning he sent two members of staff to his home, where they discovered the news.

Mr Hampton said: "That week was an incredibly emotional time for me, the management team and indeed the whole school.

"But our grief turned to utter shock and betrayal when I was told what he had been doing and that he had taken images of boys changing using a camera hidden in a bag."

At first the school was told that Goldberg had owned a low-level "naturist video" and it was not until later that the full extent of his crimes emerged.

"Staff and I have wrestled with the question of whether we should have had any suspicions. But we were all deceived," he said.

"There was no indication that Mr Goldberg was leading a double life.

"No complaints about his conduct had ever been received and he appeared in every way to be the professional he wanted us to believe he was."

He added that he had been assured by the NSPCC that such a lack of awareness about Goldberg's double life was typical in many cases.

Earlier that year, the school's safeguarding procedures had been approved by the Independent Schools Inspectorate but the NSPCC has been invited to work with staff to improve their knowledge further.

The case highlighted delays in the way British police forces failed to act on information about suspected paedophiles passed to them by Canadian authorities as part of Operation Spade.

It later emerged that, two years on, 200 cases remained unresolved.

Keith Bristow, director-general of the National Crime Agency (NCA), has apologised in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee after it emerged that his organisation took a year to pass on the Goldberg tip-off.

CEOP, which was taken in to the NCA, received the data from Canadian police working on Operation Spade in July 2012 but did not contact Essex Police for a year.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating Essex Police's actions.

It recently said it would look at what action officers took to assess the risk Goldberg posed, why they were unable to search his home, why he was never arrested, how quickly they acted on the information and whether they had followed national guidelines.