All posts tagged Southend

Southend teacher Martin Goldberg ‘betrayed’ school

Published December 29, 2014 by misty534

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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.


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 misty534


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

Paedophile sues hospital

Published September 15, 2014 by misty534


A CONVICTED paedophile branded a “devious sexual predator” is suing a private mental hospital amid claims he was beaten unconscious by another patient while sectioned there.

John Oliver, 73, from Southend, has issued a writ against Clare House, in Pound Lane, Bowers Gifford, claiming they were negligent in his care.

In a claim issued to Southend County Court, Oliver says he was punched so hard at Clare House he fell to the ground unconscious, required six stitches, and has suffered pain and loss of vision ever since.

Oliver claims staff were negligent by failing to see or break up the fight while it was starting to occur, and that it was negligent as it was responsible at the time for the actions of his attacker.

His claim, which asks foramaximum of £15,000 damages from the hospital, said: “On or about September 11, 2010, one Robert Sweet, a patient at the hospital, assaulted the claimant by punching him in the right eye and with such a force the claimant was knocked to the ground unconscious.

The defendant (Clare House) was negligent for permitting the assault to occur.

“In particular that the claimant (Oliver) was negligently placed in HockneyWard, failure to keep the claimant and Mr Sweet apart on the ward in question and failure to appreciate the risks to the claimant by reason of his past convictions for sexual offences.”

Oliver, formerly from Ipswich Road, Colchester, was given a twoyear probation order for indecently assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 1998 and subsequently put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years before spending several years in various mental health institutions.

In September 2009 Oliver, who had a history of absconding from mental health units, escaped from carers while on a supervised trip to Basildon town centre.

He was found eight days later in a Colchester hotel room.

He also absconded while a patient at a hospital in East London, in 2008.

In a letter, leaked to the Echo at the time of the 2009 escape, from Essex Police’s Det Chief Insp Darrin Thomkins to the North Essex Mental Health Partnership, the officer branded Oliver an “intelligent, devious, uncontrollable, sexual predator” who “regularly preyed on vulnerable individuals”.

A St Andrews spokeswoman said: “We have challenged the claim, but while the matter is ongoing we are not in a position to comment further.”

Oliver was yesterday not at home and unavailable to comment.