Beal and Wanstead High schools criticised by judge after former teacher Michael Crombie has jail term extended

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Judge slams schools after jailing paedophile teacher Judge slams schools after jailing paedophile teacher

A judge slammed two Redbridge secondary schools as she sentenced a music teacher to three years for sexually abusing dozens of young girls.

Michael Crombie, 76, formerly of Monkhams Avenue in Woodford Green is already serving a five year sentence after being convicted of the systematic abuse of 29 girls in 2010.

A further 30 women came forward in the latest case which related to Crombie’s time at Beal Grammar School, from 1964 to 1974, and then at Wanstead High School, until 1990.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey today, Judge Wendy Joseph QC said: “It is clear that complaints were made to schools by a number of girls on a number of occasions, but nobody took any, or any adequate, steps to ensure that this defendant was stopped.”

Crombie groped the girls while giving them 'breathing exercises', and often forcibly kissed them.
   
Sandy Canavan, prosecuting, said: “(He) selected his victims with care, groomed them, and made them feel they were responsible for what was happening.”
 
One former pupil, who was abused by Crombie at Beal, told police his sexual interest in her was 'common knowledge' at the school, but no action was ever taken to stop it.

After getting a job at Wanstead High School, Crombie began inappropriately touching girls and took them swimming to indulge his fetish for watching people underwater.

The court heard a string of disturbing accounts of Crombie’s abuse which emerged after one former pupil was outraged by his request for a character reference during his last trial.

The court heard he had asked her to turn up at his home naked, telling her to imagine him raping her.

Crombie admitted 47 counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

His sentence will begin when his current one ends.

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