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Police interview former North Devon teacher over pupil sex allegation

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: May 16, 2013

By Philippa Jenkins

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POLICE have interviewed a former North Devon teacher over claims he had sex with pupils.

The man was interviewed under caution after several women contacted investigators.

Detectives say an article in the Journal about the case led to more women getting in touch.

Now a file is being sent to the Crown Prosecution Service which will decide whether the man should be taken to court.

In February the Journal revealed police had reopened an investigation into the teacher, who worked at Great Torrington School in the 1990s. He cannot be named for legal reasons. Poppy Parsons, 31, from Northam, waived her anonymity and said the man groomed her into a sexual relationship when she was aged 14 to 16.

She said on one occasion he had sex with her in a cupboard at the school.

Poppy reported what happened to police in 2011. The initial investigation did not result in any arrests or convictions.

The teacher had since moved to another school in Devon. It's understood he was later dismissed from that school.

Now police have confirmed they have spoken to the teacher in connection with the case.

They said the man was interviewed under caution following allegations of historic sexual abuse at Great Torrington School in the 1990s.

Detective sergeant Rob Back, from Devon and Cornwall Police's child abuse investigation unit in Exeter, confirmed the investigation's progress on Monday.

He said: "If the CPS feel there is enough evidence then they can issue a summons for him to attend court. He will then have to plead to the charges put to him.

"If they don't feel the evidence threshold has been met they may decide to come back to us and we will then have to investigate further."

DS Back, who has been leading the investigation, said the police officers working on the case have taken numerous statements from women who say they were abused by the teacher at a similar time to Poppy.

He said: "I think the coverage in the Journal has helped."

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