Exclusive: Luton primary school worker charged with downloading child sex images

A primary school staff member has been sacked after being charged with downloading indecent images of children, the Luton News can reveal.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2016, 9:33 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:58 pm
Stopsley Community Primary School

Reuben Francis, 28, of Hart Lane, Luton, worked for Stopsley Community Primary School’s FLAG Club – a scheme which runs to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities, as well as pupils who speak English as an additional language.

The 28-year-old was suspended from the school after being arrested by police and charged with seven counts of downloading child sex images.

Francis admitted the charges and will appear at Luton Crown Court for sentencing on July 8.

In a letter sent to parents this week, Stopsley Primary chair of governors Gill Bryan said that the school acted as quickly as it could when informed of the allegations.

Ms Bryan wrote: “Bedfordshire Police received intelligence which led to the arrest of an adult who was at that time a member of the FLAG Club.

“The school takes safeguarding and welfare of its pupils incredibly seriously and worked closely with Bedfordshire Police and the local authority as soon as the allegations were known.

“This employee was immediately removed from the school and subsequently suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation.”

Ms Bryan added that officers found no evidence to suggest the images were connected to current or former pupils at the school.

Nonetheless, one parent told the Luton News that the letter left him “very angry and scared”.

He said: “It is shocking when you hear that something like this has happened.

“There are so many questions, was he vetted and CRB checked?

“The school has not yet put on a meeting to get everyone together and speak to us about this.

“The communication with the school has broken down and we don’t know how they will deal with it.”

The parent added: “We have had to sit the kids down and ask them if any pictures have been taken of them.

“We send our children to the school, which we trust to look after them.

“That has not been the case in this situation.”

Concerned parents have been told to contact the Luton Children Safeguarding Board or the NSPCC.

A Luton Borough Council spokesperson said: “A letter was issued to parents to reassure them that the police investigation did not uncover any evidence to suggest the images were in any way connected to current or former pupils at Stopsley Community Primary School and parents are welcome to discuss any concerns they may have with the council’s safeguarding education team.”