August 2007

Perverted teacher free for 22yrs

A PERVERT teacher was given free rein to sexually abuse boys after a shocking string of official blunders, a report has revealed.

Hampshire County Council knew of claims that paedophile Graham Stride, 51, had been molesting boys for 22 YEARS but still let him carry on teaching.

For two decades staff, parents, children and headmasters raised fears about his sex abuse of victims aged ten to 14 at a number of schools.

But no mention of the allegations were put on his files because none of the kids’ complaints were proved.

So the education authority let sick Stride move freely between schools and prey on new victims. An investigation into the horrific blunder was finally launched after the pervert branded a “sexual predator” by a judge was caged for seven years for 15 sex attacks on six boys.

He was also convicted of two attempted indecent assaults on another lad.

Stride, of Gosport, Hants, was also put on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely by Portsmouth Crown Court.

Yesterday parents blasted education bosses for the catastrophic blunder.

The mum of a victim said her 12-year-old son who was just ten when abused by Stride was still severely traumatised by his ordeal.

She said: “Everything should go on a teacher’s file and they should understand that. If they have nothing to hide, they shouldn’t have a problem. Any good teacher would want to protect children and would understand why this should be so.”

Yesterday Hampshire’s director of children’s services John Coughlan admitted the system had failed.

And worryingly he did not rule out more teachers like Stride in the system.

Mr Coughlan said: “It is impossible to say there aren’t others. You may think your system is safe, but there are people determined to get through.

“But opportunities for the Strides of this world are severely reduced.”

Education chiefs have drawn up recommendations to prevent any repeat. But unions warned against putting unfounded allegations by spiteful kids on a teacher’s record.