29/11/2001

Teacher suspended on charges relating to child porn

A physics teacher who has been charged with offences relating to pornography on the Internet has been suspended from his job.

Karl Murray who is a member of staff at Ballymena Academy was arrested after a police raid at his home in the Old Park area of the town.

Mr Murray has been released on police bail to appear in court in Ballymena in December.

Meanwhile a meeting of the North/South Ministerial council in Dublin has produced new strategies to protect children from paedophiles.

Five million Euros are being made available in order to boost the programme which will operate across the border.

Stormont Education minister Martin McGuinness attended the event on Wednesday November 28 alongside junior minister Dermot Nesbitt and the Irish Education minister Michael Woods.

The Council agreed that there was a need to develop a confidential mechanism for the registration of teachers and other workers in the education field who are deemed unsafe to work with children and young people. The Council also recognised that this is a complex issue and agreed that it was essential for all jurisdictions to work in collaboration to achieve an effective solution and that appropriate legislation would be required.

SDLP assembly member Patricia Lewsley said: “For months I have been calling for a register of paedophiles to be established and I am glad that the Minister for Education has announced that there are plans for a confidential register to be set up. It is imperative that we use this opportunity to plug any loopholes in current legislation, which allows paedophiles to operate throughout the country.”

The announcement comes at an opportune time in that the first meeting takes place on Friday November 30 of the NI Forum on Sexual Abuse in Stormont.

The Forum is made up of politicians, survivors of sexual abuse and members of relevant charities and NGO’s. (AMcE)

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