Essex

Westcliff High School ex-teacher charged with sex offences

A former teacher at an all girls school in Essex has been charged with possessing indecent images of children and sexual touching of a girl under 18.

Colin Bell, 44, of Great Wakering, was a teacher at Westcliff High School for Girls until his arrest in August.

He is due to appear at Southend Magistrates' Court on 29 July.

Mr Bell has been charged with four counts relating to images of children and four of sexual touching of a girl under 18.

He faces two charges of making indecent images of children relating to material downloaded from the internet; one of possessing extreme pornographic images and one of possessing prohibited, non-photographic images of children.

Westcliff High School for Girls headteacher Dr Paul Hayman said social workers and educational psychologists were at the school on Tuesday, and would return on Wednesday.

"As soon as the school was made aware of the arrest, Mr Bell was immediately suspended and all the relevant safeguarding processes and procedures were followed by the school," he added.

"We have since been working with Essex Police and the council's safeguarding team to assist and support the investigation."

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