Former headteacher charged with indecent assault and gross indecency with a child

Evesham Journal: Former headteacher charged with indecent assault and gross indecency with a child Former headteacher charged with indecent assault and gross indecency with a child

THE former headmaster of a school near Evesham has been charged with indecent assault and gross indecency with a child.

Richard Alston, now 69, from Suffolk, is the former Headteacher of New Barns School in Toddington, Gloucestershire, an independent school for children aged six to 12 with emotional and behavioural problems that closed in 1992.

He was first arrested on August 20 last year at his home in Bury St Edmunds.

He has now been charged with five counts of indecent assault and three counts of gross indecency with a child.

The charges date back to the late 1970s and concern an alleged victim who was 11 years old at the time.

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

The half brother of a senior Conservative MP, Charles Napier, 67, from Dorset, will also appear on the same day.

He is accused of one count of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency, Scotland Yard said. He is the half brother of MP John Whittingdale.

The men were arrested last year under Operation Cayacos, a strand of a wider investigation which was launched following claims by MP Tom Watson.

In 2012 Mr Watson used Parliamentary privilege to claim that a file of evidence used to convict Peter Righton of importing child pornography in 1992 contained ''clear intelligence'' of a sex abuse gang.

He wrote to Scotland Yard, who launched criminal investigation Operation Fairbank, which has since spawned two more inquiries - Fernbridge, which is looking at claims linked to the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south west London in the 1980s, and Cayacos.

Mr Whittingdale said: "I am aware that my half brother has been charged with an offence alleged to have occurred over 35 years ago.

"I have no knowledge of this, particularly as I had only just left school at that time.

"However, obviously I recognise that this is a serious matter and that the law must take its course."

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