Teacher charged with sex offences

A SUFFOLK teacher has been charged with sex offences against a girl at the prestigious private school he taught at.

Colin Adwent

A SUFFOLK teacher has been charged with sex offences against a girl at the prestigious private school he taught at.

John Cope faces two accusations relating to a pupil at the all-girl school where parents pay up to �3,000 a term for their children's education.

The charges against him relate to allegations said to have taken place in East Sussex earlier this year.

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The 44-year-old, of Stow Road, Bury St Edmunds, was arrested by police in Brighton after they received a complaint.

Following interviews by officers, Cope was charged with sexually grooming the girl.

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He also faces a further charge of inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity. This second accusation is said to have occurred on the same day as the first.

At the time of the alleged offences Cope was working at Brighton & Hove High School for Girls.

Cope did not enter a plea to the allegations when he attended the first hearing of his case at the city's magistrates' court earlier this week.

The case has now been committed to Lewes Crown Court, where the next hearing will be held in three months time.

Cope was granted bail, although conditions were attached pending his next scheduled appearance on September 11.

Magistrates told him he would not be remanded in custody on condition he has no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.

He was also ordered not to contact the alleged victim, or any pupils, or members of staff at the school.

Mr Cope was a supply teacher at the school for nine months. A spokesman for the school said Cope no longer worked there.

Brighton & Hove High School for Girls is based in Montpelier Road. It is the only independent school in the centre of Brighton and has more than 700 pupils aged between two and 18.

Former students include Liberal Democrat politician Baroness Northover, world-renown fashion editor Suzy Menkes OBE and Ipswich's Olympian swimmer Karen Pickering.

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