December 2011

Former New Hall School groundsman jailed for molesting children

A GROUNDSMAN at a £24,000-a-year boarding school has been jailed for 11 years for a string of sex offences against children.

Students at New Hall School in Boreham complained of gym clothes and school uniforms going missing, and the school’s security team caught groundsman David Record stealing from boarders.

They reported him to the police, who raided his home and found indecent images of children.

They also linked him to a string of sex offences against children between 1990 and 1999.

“Our thoughts are of course first and foremost with the victims of these terrible crimes,” said Tom Warmington, marketing manager at New Hall.

“Our hope is for the victims’ recovery and their future wellbeing.

“Mr Record was employed as a groundsman at New Hall School between March 2010 and July 2011.”

Record, 54, was at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to 27 separate offences, 16 of which were sexual in nature.

He admitted two counts of attempted rape, three counts of indecent assault, three counts of gross indecency with a child, five counts of taking indecent images of children, one count of making indecent images of children, possessing indecent images of children, and voyeurism.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of a Taser, burglary, and nine counts of theft.

Senior investigating officer DI Tracey Harman said: “Without the vigilance of the school, Mr Record may still have been in the community.”

Until this conviction, Mr Record’s enhanced criminal records bureau check was clear.

DI Harman added: “He is a manipulative man whose offending had not come to light until he was arrested for the theft offences.

“David Record’s offending went unreported for over 20 years, and there is the potential that we have not spoken to all his victims.”

Record, of Cruick Avenue, South Ockendon, has also been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

The majority of the victims were known to him.

The mother of a child at the school, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Chronicle: “All the parents got an e-mail saying somebody working at the school had been arrested and was going to court.

“We didn’t get any more details but a lot of people were saying it was to do with child pornography and child abuse.

“Initially I thought ‘oh my God, why is my child at a school that’s employing people like this?’ and was disgusted.

“But I am very proud of the school because had they not found him out the police would never have caught this man for the sex offences.

“All the students were complaining of things going missing and the security team caught him. Instead of confronting him, the school went to the police.

“How did that man get to 54 years old without ever being convicted? This has all come about because the school was so vigilant.”