Police Not Used To Analyse School Computer

Councillor David Pearson

The Councillor who looks after children’s issues says that comments he made about the police finding inappropriate images on the head teacher, Bryce Wilby’s computer weren’t correct

Yesterday, the Council’s lead member for children, David Pearson, told Radio Scilly that the computer had been sent to police IT experts at their headquarters in Middlemoor, Exeter, where the images had been found.

But it has emerged that Devon and Cornwall police did not perform the investigation. Cllr Pearson says he’s now discovered that Cornwall Council’s auditing team carried out the work and the police were not involved.

David said no illegal material, such as images of children, was discovered.

Bryce’s union rep, Steve Cleverley, says this is “yet another extraordinary twist in an extraordinary story.”

Steve says Bryce has “refuted very strongly” that he put the images in question on the computer, adding there were times when the computer was in Bryce’s possession and times when it wasn’t.

Yesterday, Bryce told Radio Scilly news that, because of IT issues at school, it was well known that his laptop was left around with a post-it note attached with the password on it, as many people needed access.

Bryce also says that, when he was told of his suspension he had just returned from a mainland trip. He had his laptop in his luggage but gladly handed it over. If there had been material that he didn’t want people to see, he says, he would have taken it home, removed items and sent it on later.

Steve said he needs to be reassured that proper procedures where used when analysing the computer. He does not have that information yet.

We asked Cornwall Council if their auditing team did the investigation and what procedures they would use in such a situation, but they didn’t get back to us.

Steve said the latest developments don’t make a huge amount of difference, other than to reduce the perception of the allegations against Mr Wilby.

But he said his main concern is the appearance that Bryce’s employer has put allegations into the public domain before Bryce has had a chance to respond to them. Any employer has a duty of care to an employee, he says, even an ex-employee.

He added that making public statements without hearing what Bryce has to say leaves the council vulnerable to legal action.

Steve says Bryce could take the matter to court with a potential claim against both the council and the governors of the school, adding, “I’m sure he will be taking legal advice on that.”

Mr Wilby has offered to meet with auditors from Cornwall and Steve hopes this will clear up the issues. He says his aim is to clear Bryce’s name so he can move forward with his career.


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