October 21 2014 Latest news:
Monday, September 1, 2014
The career of a former Suffolk headmaster is in tatters after he admitted sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.
Martyn Berry, who was brought in as a “superhead” to turn Holbrook High School around, had denied three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and two offences of sexual assault and was due to go on trial today.
However, he pleaded guilty to one offence of sexual assault between November 1 2012 and December 20 2012 and the remaining charges were left on the court file.
Judge David Goodin said Berry had brushed the girl’s breast over her clothing with the back of his hand and described it as being at “more at the mildest end of the scale” for this type of offence.
He said Berry’s career would be in tatters as a result of his guilty plea. He was given a 22 week jail sentence, suspended for two years, and will be on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.
Berry, 61, of Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, was parachuted in to take over Holbrook High School from its previous headteacher after the school was placed in special measures.
It followed an announcement which was made stating an external headteacher would be appointed at the school after a damning Ofsted inspection three months earlier.
After the report was completed, Berry acted as an advisor to the school until he was formally chosen to take over its running.
Over the years Berry had gained a reputation for delivering marked and rapid improvement at a number of schools around the country and was strongly recommended by the Department of Education.
Previously Berry had turned around The River Leen School in Nottingham, which is now known as The Bulwell Academy.
His work there was credited with leading pupils to improved exam results and getting the school on an even financial keel after it recovered from a half-a-million pound deficit.
It is also understood that Berry had been a headteacher in Middlesbrough before that.