Martin Goldberg

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Southend teacher Martin Goldberg ‘betrayed’ school

Published December 29, 2014 by JS2

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A head teacher has described the “utter shock and betrayal” he felt on discovering a long-serving teacher was a paedophile.

In the Thorpe Hall School newsletter, Andrew Hampton revealed how he was taken in by deputy head Martin Goldberg.

The teacher was found dead at his home in September by police investigating information uncovered in Canada.

Images of boys undressing at the Southend school and at a leisure centre were found on his computer.

Goldberg, 46, who had taught at Thorpe Hall School for 23 years, was found dead on 10 September, a day after he was interviewed by Essex Police officers.

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At that stage police were refused a search warrant of his home by magistrates. He was not arrested due to a lack of evidence.

Essex Police later found 75 indecent images from the changing rooms of the independent school on his computer.

A further 465 were found to have been taken at the leisure centre’s swimming pool and 38 at “two other locations”.

Police said both stills and videos had been made from a camera concealed inside a bag from 2000 onwards and were of boys aged between nine and 12.

Mr Hampton said the discovery of Goldberg’s body had been “incredibly emotional” for everyone at the school.

“But our grief turned to utter shock and betrayal when I was told what he had been doing,” he said.

At first the school had been told Goldberg, who taught maths, had owned a low-level “naturist video” and it was not until later that the full extent of his crimes emerged.

‘Double life’

“Staff and I have wrestled with the question of whether we should have had any suspicions. But we were all deceived,” said Mr Hampton.

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

The school had not received any complaints about Goldberg’s conduct.

Mr Hampton added he had been assured by the NSPCC that such a lack of awareness about Goldberg’s double life was typical.

Thorpe Hall School
Images were made of boys at Thorpe Hall School in Southend

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.

It has emerged Essex Police were told in November 2013 about Goldberg buying videos of naked boys.

The ten-month gap between them being given this information and interviewing Goldberg has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for scrutiny.

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

The National Crime Agency took a year to pass on the Goldberg tip-off.

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Investigation into paedophile teacher Martin Goldberg begins

Published December 23, 2014 by JS2

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Investigation into paedophile teacher Martin Goldberg begins

INVESTIGATORS looking into why police failed to arrest and take action against a paedophile deputy headteacher have outlined what they will look into.

Essex Police referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission on September 30 after it emerged Martin Goldberg, deputy head at Thorpe Hall School, killed himself after he discovered police were investigating him for downloading indecent images of children.

Goldberg had amassed 7,257 indecent images of children on computers and had produced nearly 600 images himself by filming Thorpe Hall School pupils in the school’s changing rooms, in Southend Tennis and Leisure Centre and two other locations, which police have been unable to identify.

Essex Police were first sent information about Goldberg in November 2013, but only went to his home, in Dalwood, Shoebury, on September 9 this year.

He refused to voluntarily answer questions and the next day he was found hanged at his home.

The IPCC will examine:

  • What actions officers took, including risk assessments and safeguarding, once Essex Police knew about Goldberg’s job in a school
  • The unsuccessful application for a search warrant
  • The risk assessments made by officers before visiting Goldberg’s home on September 9 and why they did not arrest him at that time
  • How quickly Essex Police processed information received from the National Crime Agency related to Goldberg
  • Whether the investigation by Essex Police was conducted along national and force guidelines with proper supervision.

Essex Police referred to IPCC over deputy head paedophile investigation

Published November 13, 2014 by JS2

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Essex Police is to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over allegations they failed to act on information over child sex abuse images.

It relates to former deputy head of Southend school Thorpe Hall, Martin Goldberg, for failing to properly investigate for more than a year evidence he have been a paedophile.

The 46-year-old killed himself in September a day after being confronted by police over videos of naked boys he had bought online.

Following his death, it emerged he had been filming and photographing dozens of boys in the changing rooms of the fee-paying school using a camera hidden in a rucksack.

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Essex police were told about concerns about Goldberg by the National Crime Agency in November 2013 which itself had been tipped off in July 2012 by Canadian police investigating customers of a Canadian website selling videos of child abuse.

On September 30, the IPCC received a referral from Essex Police relating to the force’s delay in responding to the information provided by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in November 2013.

The information led to the force’s contact with Martin Goldberg prior to his death. The IPCC also received a number of complaints from individuals affected by the case.

The force made referrals to the IPCC in relation to intelligence they received from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). After careful assessment they will now be independently investigated.

IPCC deputy chairman Sarah Green said: “There is rightly considerable public concern about how police forces deal with sexual offences involving children.

“The IPCC takes this issue seriously and proactively contacted the force and asked them to review their handling of intelligence to determine the scale of any issues.

“Our investigations will examine carefully how intelligence from CEOP was dealt with by these three forces.”

Maths teacher and deputy head Martin Goldberg, 46, who was found dead at his home in Shoeburyness two weeks ago, the day after he was spoken to by police about images of naked teenage boys

Published September 30, 2014 by JS2

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Maths teacher and deputy head Martin Goldberg, 46, who was found dead at his home in Shoeburyness two weeks ago, the day after he was spoken to by police about images of naked teenage boys

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 centr

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.

The families of four youngsters identified in the secret films have been contacted by police and offered support, but at this stage there is no suggestion that Goldberg abused any of the children sexually.

Essex Police said the faces of the children in the other images were not visible or the footage was too poor for them to be identified.

An urgent investigation led by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has now been launched to determine why there was a delay in the investigation, and to ascertain if any of the secret recordings were made during the nine months he ought to have been on the police radar.

Nick Alston, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex said parents deserved an explanation about why detectives did not act on warnings about Goldberg sooner.

He said: “I am a parent and a grandparent, and I share the shock, concern and anger that people in our communities are feeling about Goldberg’s behaviour.”

He added: “I understand the original information from police in Toronto suggesting that Goldberg had purchased videos of naked boys several years ago was received by Essex Police in late November 2013.

“It is important that we understand why it took nine months for the force to act on this information. There may be valid reasons but we deserve an explanation.”

Canadian detectives are understood to have first contacted the National Crime Agency in London last November alerting them to the fact Goldberg had bought material from a foreign website which could contain images of naked male children.

The intelligence had been gathered as part of Operation Spade an international investigation led by police in Toronto into the activities of an online retailer based in Canada that was trading as a film distribution company.

The National Crime Agency then passed the details onto Essex Police, along with information about 35 other potential suspects in their area.

However despite the fact Goldberg was a teacher working with children every day, his case was not taken further until nine months later on September 9, when detectives visited him at his home in Shoeburyness.

According to Essex Police he was not arrested at the time due to a lack of evidence and officers were refused permission to search his home after a local magistrate rejected an application for a warrant.

The following day on September 10, police were contacted over concerns for Goldberg’s welfare and after attending his home found him dead.

An inquest into his death was open and adjourned, but it is understood he was found hanged.

Police yesterday confirmed that attempts had been made to the erase the hard drives on his computers and there was also evidence that a fire had been started in the property.

It is understood he used a camera hidden in a bag to film young boys undressing in the changing rooms of Thorpe Hall school, where he had worked for more than 20 years.

It had also been used at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre swimming pool in Southend and two other unidentified locations.

Despite widespread anger over the apparent delay in investigating Goldberg, Essex Police steadfastly refused to discuss the matter, claiming as it had now been referred to the IPCC it would be inappropriate to comment.

However a police spokesman said: “It is important to stress that we have found no evidence of any other offences by Mr Goldberg involving these children. At this time there is nothing to suggest that he made inappropriate physical contact with any child.

“The school has co-operated with our investigation and we have also found no evidence to suggest that anyone else was involved in Mr Goldberg’s criminal activity. There is also no information that he shared any of these images or that anyone else was aware of his offending.”

The spokesman added: “Essex Police understands that this news may be extremely distressing to both parents and children and has set up a special number for people to call if they have any concerns or believe they have information that would assist the investigation.

“The priority for the police now is to support those affected and we are continuing to work with the school, Southend Borough Council, Essex County Council and others to provide that support and ensure that all appropriate action is taken.”

By Martin Evans