Essex

Southend teacher Martin Goldberg filmed boys undressing

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Media captionThorpe Hall School head teacher, Andrew Hampton: "I'm deeply shocked"

Indecent images of pupils were discovered on the computer of an Essex deputy head teacher who was found dead a day after he spoke to officers.

Martin Goldberg, 46, a maths teacher at Thorpe Hall School in Southend, died on 10 September.

Police found images on his computer of boys undressing in the school's changing rooms and at a leisure centre.

Essex Police questioned him on 9 September but were refused a search warrant of his home by magistrates.

Image caption Martin Goldberg worked at Thorpe Hall school for 23 years

A senior officer said it was because the magistrates "didn't feel the case was sufficiently made out". Goldberg was not arrested as not enough evidence could be gathered.

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

"It is important that we understand why it took months for the force to act on this information," Essex's Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston said.

"There may be valid reasons, but we deserve an explanation".

The ten-month gap has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for scrutiny. The body said there was "no indication" officers failed in their dealings with Goldberg on 9 September.

Changing room images

The images, both videos and stills, are believed to have been made from a camera concealed inside a bag from 2000 onwards, and "would appear to be of boys aged from nine to 12," police said.

Detectives have identified four children from the footage and have spoken to their parents.

They said there is no evidence of any other offences involving physical contact with the children.

Police said 75 images, which were classed as "indecent", were from the changing rooms at the independently run, co-educational school.

A further 465 were found to have been taken at the leisure centre's swimming pool and 38 from "two other locations".

Officers said in most of the pictures, the children's faces were not visible, or the quality of the image was so poor that they could not be identified.

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

Goldberg, who lived alone in Shoeburyness, had taught at Thorpe Hall school for 23 years.

In a statement, head teacher Andrew Hampton said governors and staff were "very shocked" by the news, and everyone felt "surprised, angry and betrayed".

"There were no indications whatsoever that Mr Goldberg was leading a double life," he said.

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Media captionChief Superintendent Luke Collison: "In total 75 images in the school's male changing room would be classified as indecent".

"An incident such as this is very alarming and no-one could have foreseen it."

Mr Hampton said an inspection of the school's safeguarding policies in March this year found no improvements were needed.

"Despite this, we are re-enforcing our safeguarding procedures to ensure our provision goes beyond the highest standards expected of all UK schools and are as watertight as it is possible to have them," he said.

A former student, who wanted to remain anonymous, said pupils were shocked and saddened at the news, but added that Goldberg had been a respected teacher at the school.

Southend Borough councillor Anne Jones, responsible for children and learning, said the local authority had been working closely with police and the school.

"The council's primary focus at this time are the children and families directly involved from Thorpe Hall School," she said.

Mrs Jones also said there were "rigorous" safeguarding arrangements in place at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, where some of the images were taken.

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