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Warning from primary school after man charged with allegedly loitering nearby

PUBLISHED: 10:34 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:54 08 February 2019

A pensioner has been charged with loitering within 20 metres of Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft. Picture: Google

A pensioner has been charged with loitering within 20 metres of Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft. Picture: Google

Archant

A headteacher has reassured parents and pupils after a man was arrested for allegedly loitering near to a Lowestoft school.

Matthew Jordan, headteacher at Gunton Primary Academy, wrote to parents this week following an incident on January 30.

In a letter to parents, the school said it had held an assembly about being safe in the community.

Mr Jordan said: “We took the opportunity to remind children of the ‘Clever Never Goes’ message. This is so children understand that in any situation, whether outside in the community or online, they must never go with someone they don’t know, however friendly or helpful they appear.

“We also regularly remind children about making sure they are with their friends, that they should shout if they feel unsafe, run to the nearest house of family or back to school, and tell an adult.”

Pupils were not told details of the incident, just that an arrest had been made, and the letter was published only on the school’s website, rather than given to pupils to take home.

“I want to reassure you that we had no prior knowledge about this arrest and the police have not been in contact with us.

“If we had concerns, we would of course make the police aware immediately and, on their advice, would have passed a warning on to you.

“I appreciate this news will be unsettling, but I want to stress that we take the safety of your children extremely seriously and will always do everything we can to make sure they are safe and able to focus on enjoying their schoolday during their time with us.”

Peter Ashford was arrested and charged with loitering within 20 metres of the school on January 30, which, if found guilty, would put him in breach of a sexual harm prevention order imposed on January 9 at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court.

He appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on February 6 but did not enter a plea.

Ashford, of Wellington Esplanade in Lowestoft, will return to the Norwich court on February 13 for a case management hearing. He was remanded in custody until then.

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