Judge allows identification of sex case school

The judge presiding over the trial of a class supervisor accused of underage sex with a 15-year-old pupil has lifted the order banning identification of the school involved.

Recorder Guy Kearl, sitting at Hull Crown court, ruled that Headlands School, Bridlington, could be identified after hearing of similar incidents involving its staff and students.

Judge Kearl varied an order banning the identification of the girl complainant after an application by the Hull Daily Mail.

The newspaper had asked the judge either to lift the order or to amend it, to allow the school to be named, on the grounds that defendant Christopher Reen’s trial was a high-profile case.

The paper claimed the case was the fifth occasion on which a member of the school’s staff had faced criminal proceedings over inappropriate sexual conduct and that East Riding of Yorkshire Council had previously held a public inquiry into the school.

It said Reen, who had admitted an offence of breach of trust before the start of his trial on charges of having sex with an under age girl, started his relationship with the pupil despite measures put in place to stop such incidents, and said the public should be made aware which school the case involved due to the number of pupils it had.

The application said the girl’s identity was already protected by the Sexual Offences Act, so that lifting the order made under the Children and Young Persons Act would simply allow the media to name the school.

Judge Kearl said the large number of pupils at the school meant that allowing the name to be reported would not lead to the girl’s identification.

After a three day trial, a jury failed to reach a verdict on the under age sex charges against Reen. The Crown Prosecution Service is considering whether to seek a re-trial.

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