Former headteacher charged with alleged historic sex abuse to go to Crown Court

First published in News

THE former headmaster of a school near Evesham will go to Crown Court after being charged over alleged historic sex abuse.

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 is charged with five counts of indecent assault and three counts of gross indecency with a child.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Tuesday (July 29) as did Charles Napier.

The 67-year-old is accused of one count of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency. He is the half-brother of Maldon MP John Whittingdale.

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

The will appear next at Southwark Crown Court on August 12 after their conditional bail was renewed.

The pair, smartly dressed in jackets and ties, spoke only to confirm their names and dates of birth and that they understood what was happening.

They 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.

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