Parents feel “left in the dark” after only just learning Derbyshire school paedophile was jailed FIVE months ago

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Parents claim they have been “left in the dark” after a school took five months to tell them a paedophile IT technician had been jailed.

Martin Barnsdall, who worked at Old Hall Junior School, was jailed for 26 months in May after police found indecent images of children on his home computer.

But many parents only found out about his crimes when they received a letter from the school at the weekend – after the Derbyshire Times contacted Derbyshire County Council about the case.

Barnsdall, 52, of Glebe Gardens, North Wingfield, was suspended from the Chesterfield school in September last year and later resigned from his role.

One parent, who did not want to be named, said: “I’m shocked and really disappointed the school didn’t let us know he’d even been suspended and that we’re only getting to learn about it more than a year on.”

Another parent added: “We’ve been left in the dark over this.”

Sharon Stone, headteacher at Old Hall Junior School, said: “We wrote to parents to reassure them that the offences did not relate to the school or our pupils after rumours began circulating in the community.

“We also wanted to reassure parents that we take the safety of our pupils seriously and acted quickly to suspend Martin Barnsdall as soon as the police made us aware of the allegations, taking all the appropriate action in consultation with all the relevant authorities.”

Barnsdall pleaded guilty at Derby Crown Court to three charges of making indecent photographs of children, one charge of voyeurism and one charge of possessing extreme pornographic images.

He was ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for ten years and given a ten-year sexual offences’ prevention order.

A spokesman for Derbyshire police said: “We worked jointly with Old Hall School and can reassure parents that there was no evidence of any contact offending or material relating to any pupils at the school.

“This was a proactive investigation led by Derbyshire police and shows that we treat matters of this nature involving children with the utmost seriousness and priority.”

Anyone with information about crime should call Derbyshire police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.