A deputy head teacher of a primary school has been charged with online child sexual abuse offences after a National Crime Agency investigation.

Richard Swinnerton, 30, of Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, was charged with three counts of possession of illegal images of children relating to category A (the most severe), category B and category C.

The defendant – who has resigned from his job at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School in Middlesbrough – will appear at Teesside Magistrates' Court on 10 July 2020.

The charges relate to online child sexual abuse imagery. Officers have found no evidence to suggest that any of the images were made at the school and there is no allegation of physical abuse.

Elizabeth Eddies, St Clare’s headteacher said: “I wish to assure all parents that the well-being and safety of children at St Clare's remains of paramount importance.

“These charges do not relate to his employment at the school. This is deeply upsetting news for everybody involved with St Clare's, which has served the local community and families for over 50 years.”

10 June 2020