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Man accused of child prostitution formerly taught at Norfolk school

PUBLISHED: 14:12 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:06 07 December 2017

Costessey Junior School. Picture: Denise Bradley

Costessey Junior School. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

A man who has been charged with child sex offences - including prostitution of a child aged under 13 - was formerly a teacher at a Norfolk school, it has emerged.

Andrew Matthews, 45, of Darby Road in Beccles, has pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children between February 19, 2012, and June 12, 2017.

He is also accused of two counts of arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and arranging/facilitating the prostitution/involvement in pornography of a child under 13, charges which he has not yet entered a plea for.

Matthews was a teacher at Costessey Junior School, but has not taught at the school, headteacher Katie Lawson said, since April, before the allegations came to light.

The school wrote to parents on Tuesday to reassure them.

In the letter, Mrs Lawson said: “The school wishes to stress that these charges do not relate in any way to any of our pupils, either past or present. I can also confirm that no allegations have been made by any children at the school.”

She said Matthews had not taught at the school since April 2017, and had no contact with pupils since then.

“The school has followed all of the correct procedures and continues to work closely with both the county council and police to ensure this remains so,” she said.

She said they did not plan to raise the issue with children but would be on hand to “offer age-appropriate support and advice” if asked.

“Both myself and the school advisory and improvement group - formerly the local governing body - want to personally reassure parents that the safety of all children in the school is our key priority,” she said.

“We recognise that although this is distressing news for staff and parents alike, our school children have remained safe.”

Matthews, who appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, is due to return to the court on January 8, 2018, for a pre-trial case management hearing.

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