Independent review into teacher who abused dozens of girls

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Convicted paedophile Michael Crombie Convicted paedophile Michael Crombie

An independent review will be carried out to establish how a Woodford Green music teacher was able to abuse dozens of girls while working at two Redbridge schools.

Michael Crombie, 76, formerly of Monkhams Avenue, was sentenced to three years in prison last Friday after pleading guilty to 47 counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

A total of 30 women came forward in the latest case.

Crombie is already serving a five year sentence after being convicted of the systematic abuse of 29 girls in 2010.

The offences relate to Crombie’s time as a music teacher at Beal Grammar School between 1964-1974, at Wanstead High School where he worked until 1990 and at his home where he taught music privately until 2007.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey on Friday, 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.”

Today, a spokesman for Redbridge council said:  “Redbridge Council has asked the independent chair of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) to examine the convictions against Michael Crombie.

“The LSCB will carry out an independent review to examine the safeguarding systems and processes in place during the period over which the offences took place including the impact of the legislative changes that have been introduced since 1990 to assess what more could be done today to protect young people.

“The Children's Services Authority and the few remaining Council employees who worked in either school at the same time as Crombie have fully co-operated with the Police throughout the investigation into the offences, some of which date back to the 1960s.”

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