A paedophile who taught in a Tyneside school got a senior job at another institution thanks to a man he worked for in the region
Peter Howarth taught at Gateshead’s Axwell Park School in Gateshead from 1966 to 1973 under the then-headteacher Mat Arnold.
The pair would both go on to work at Bryn Estyn in North Wales where Howarth committed appalling child sex abuse for which he was jailed in 1994.
He later died in prison.
The long-awaited Jillings report was released yesterday confirming abuse at children’s homes in North Wales was “extensive” and had “taken place over a substantial number of years”.
It also revealed that a young boy in Wales reported Mr Arnold for sexual abuse, but that the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take no action.
The two men had met in 1965 at Ruskin College, Oxford, where Mr Arnold was a part-time lecturer.
Howarth worked at Axwell Park with Mr Arnold until 1973 before Howarth then followed Mr Arnold to Wales become third in command at Bryn Estyn.
The report shows no references were held on file for Howarth and he abused his position, creating a “flat list” of young pupils; a list of boys he selected to visit his flat after hours.
The report reads: “We were told of much speculation among staff as to why Mr Arnold had brought Peter Howarth to Bryn Estyn.”
It is also disclosed how members of staff raised concerns about Howarth’s ‘inappropriate behaviour’ and ‘possible sexual abuse of residents’.
But Mr Arnold failed to take action.
The report reads: “When asked to explain Mr Arnold’s reluctance to step in over the issue, one staff member said that all staff were aware that Arnold and Howarth ‘had known each other from way back’.”
A police investigation was launched in 1991 after the school closed in 1984.
Mr Arnold died before Howarth’s trial in 1995.
Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has called for an inquiry into the period Howarth taught at Tyneside.
He said: “Allegations of child abuse should never be ignored and the passing of time should not in any way prevent the search for justice for the children if they have been abused in any way.
“I would encourage anyone who was abused to seriously consider bringing it to the attention of the appropriate authorities.”
by Rachel Wearmouth