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.


13 Responses to Police Not Used To Analyse School Computer

  1. Todd Stevens September 8, 2012 at 8:41 am

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. (The words of Abraham Lincoln)

    When the people have cottoned on.
    Its time to -JOG ON! (the words of Todd Stevens)

  2. Jane September 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm


  3. Stavropol September 7, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Nick, Yes you are correct, Mr Hygate has been noticible in his silence but like the people Steve mentioned, does that excuse him or them of any blame? No it does not. It his his watch! You seem to have the impression the council officers can hide behind their institution. That is not the case nor should it be. The buck has to stop somewhere and that is at the CEO’s door.

  4. Gordon Bilsborough September 6, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I see the drift of your logic, Steve,, but it is not a reason to capitulate, even though it may seem late in the day. I am not a defeatist..

    • Steve Sims September 6, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      Absolutely Gordon, but idealism does need to be bolstered by pragmatism. And your reply is a nice succinct denunciation of the dirigiste dogma.

  5. Todd Stevens September 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I really do hope/wish Bryce will take legal action. Then we will see the facts of the matter.

  6. Nick F September 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    As far as I’m aware, Mr Hygate has had little to do with this affair other than in his role as Chief exec. He was not involved with the governors meeting to suspend the Headteacher, has had no direct input into what is a school matter but did have the prescence of mind to (allegedly) aquire legal advice in the first instance to ensure that correct procedures were followed. He has issued no statements and not entered into the debate when all sorts of accusations have been flying. His so called involvement at every stage is purely gossip and rumour but it is that which seems to carry the weight with this story.

    • Todd Stevens September 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      A word here-a suggestion there-a leak at the right juncture-mud thrown liberaly-get everyone fighting against everyone else- set somone up for a fall- divide and conquer. No, these are not the tactics of such an honourable man as this!

      • IanT September 7, 2012 at 8:14 am


  7. Steve Sims September 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    The truth cannot be sacrificed on the altar of expediency. Gordon, you’ve been on the council too long for platitudes like that. It has been and seems to continue to be, and it’s still beating heart was thrown to the crocodiles long ago.

    Architect or not in this unholy mess, Mr Highgate appears to be central to the whole thing, yet as far as I am aware he has not expressed a single syllable on the subject. Perhaps he thinks there is minimal public interest in the matter.

    The council has clearly been brought in to disrepute over this whole thing, which is simply the tip of a very broad based pyramid. And each subsequent event seems to push the authority deeper into the mire. Excuse me for mixing metaphors.

    The next bit is entirely unrelated to the above, lest it be actionable.
    Take the example of News International or Barclays, both huge companies which were very much brought into disrepute. Upper management protested innocence or ignorance, but despite this were obliged to resign. This was the right thing to do because irrespective of blame it happened under their stewardship.

    This should be the case, and then some, with a public body. Take for example an unspecified council, one which is held in increasingly low esteem by it’s own electorate, the national press, the local MP and not least central government. Something, irrespective of the facts, has gone terribly wrong, yet no one is it seems accountable. And the person under whose stewardship this relentless series of cock ups has occurred seems, on the tiny pieces of evidence which have piece meal emerged, to have nothing to with any part of it. And so clearly has no reason to resign. However, this cut no ice with respect to Bob Diamond, Rebecca Brooks or James Murdoch, unlucky for them they weren’t working for a local authority.

  8. Gordon Bilsborough September 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    People keep asking me, as a Councillor Member, what are true facts about the suspension and resignation of the School Head, Bryce Wilby. Following conflicting reports from different sources, I am now at a complete a loss in deciding whom or what to believe. I am also extremely angry and frustrated that the majority of Councillors have been kept in the dark.

    It has now reached a stage of when the talking has to stop and a full factual report issued with as little as legally possible being hidden behind a convenient smokescreen of “confidentiality.” If ANYONE has been guilty of deliberately concealing or distorting the truth, they must be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action. It is now nearly four months since this matter first came to light, so I hope no further obstacles will be put in the way of publishing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The truth cannot be sacrificed on the altar of expediency.

    • Todd Stevens September 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      At last!!! Suspensions and resignations or sackings before you have all been made into a laughing stock.

  9. JeffEastick September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Why on earth do those in authority not make sure of the facts before they open their mouths ! In fact , why did he say anything at all ?