July 23 2014 Latest news:
Jane Hunt and Colin Adwent
Friday, June 13, 2014
A former Suffolk headmaster is due to go on trial in September after denying five sex charges relating to three teenage girls.
Martyn Berry, who was brought in as a “superhead” to turn Holbrook High School around, pleaded not guilty to three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and two offences of sexual assault.
Berry, of Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, entered his pleas to the charges via a video link from Teeside.
The 61-year-old’s trial is due to take place at Ipswich Crown Court on September 1.
He is currently on bail following yesterday’s hearing.
Berry was reported for summons to court in December last year.
He made his first appearance before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich via a video link from Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. At the hearing the charges were formally laid against him.
Due to the seriousness of the allegations, magistrates said that the matter would have to be sent to a higher court, before committing the case to the Ipswich Crown Court.
Berry 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.