Former Acland Burghley associate head Paul Newbury pleads guilty to possessing 2,000 child sex abuse images and class A drugs

Former associate headteacher of Acland Burghley School Paul Newbury. Picture: National Crime Agency

Former associate headteacher of Acland Burghley School Paul Newbury. Picture: National Crime Agency - Credit: Archant

A former associate headteacher at Acland Burghley school has pleaded guilty to having more than 2,000 images of children being sexually abused and possessing class A drugs.

At Highbury Corner Magistrates Court this morning, Paul Newbury, of Princes Avenue, admitted four counts of making indecent images of children, one of distributing indecent photographs of children, two counts of possessing class A drugs, possession of a prohibited image, showing an indecent photograph of a child, and possession of an extreme pornographic image.

The school, in Tufnell Park, has sent a letter to parents and guardians after the hearing, and Camden has also written to councillors.

There is no evidence to suggest he was in sexual contact with any children at the school in Burghley Road and there is no evidence to link his offending to the school which sacked him on March 7 last year.

In October 2017, the 50-year-old was in an online video conferencing room where the live sex abuse of a 10-year-old girl was shown. He used the username “north London,” which National Crime Agency officials linked to his home in Haringey.

Newbury was arrested in February last year while he was working at the school.

When he was arrested, he was found with 717 milligrams of cocaine, and 197 grams of methylamphetamine hydrochloride at his home.

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In interview, he admitted having the drugs for personal use and admitted making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

NCA investigators found more than 2,000 child sexual abuse images and videos ranging from category A (the most severe) to category C on his iPad and iPhone.

He will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court later this year.

A Camden Council spokesperson said: “We fully support Acland Burghley School’s transparent and proactive approach to inform the families of their students about this case as soon as was legally possible.

“Extensive checks have been made by the National Crime Agency and both Camden and other councils’ safeguarding teams. These have confirmed that no inappropriate material was found on any school computer, no child protection concerns have ever been raised, and the National Crime Agency inquiry focused on the activities at the individual’s home address.

“The recruitment process used to appoint the individual has also been examined and, at the time of their employment, confirmed to have adhered to all safeguarding requirements.”

A spokesperson for Acland Burghley School said: “Families and students have been informed of today’s events. We are now working with the relevant agencies to ensure the whole school community receives support as we move forward.”