Former deputy head at Prince and Princess’s primary school charged with 22 counts of child sex abuse

An ex-deputy head teacher at Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s former primary school has been charged with 22 counts of child sex abuse.

Matthew Smith, 34, is accused of 17 offences over the alleged commissioning of the sexual abuse of children in India while he lived in Nepal for five years.

He was deputy head teacher at Thomas’s prep school in Battersea, south west London, until the first allegations emerged six months ago.

Mr Smith has already been charged with five child sexual abuse offences linked to his time in Nepal and has been held in prison ever since.

At Westminster magistrates’ court on Tuesday, Mr Smith was charged with another 17 counts, including encouraging the rape of a child under 13, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and arranging the sexual abuse of a child.

These latest allegations are over claims he went online to encourage child sex abuse in India while he worked at a British school in Kathmandu, between 2017 and 2022.

He is also accused of having more than 120,000 indecent images of children, including 10,000 of the worst category, police said.

Mr Smith appeared at the same court in November over the initial five counts, which included causing the sexual exploitation and abuse of a child under 13, distributing indecent images of children, and three counts of making indecent images of children.

Smith moved back to the UK last July and began working at Thomas’s prep school, where he was a deputy head teacher and head of pastoral care in September. He was sacked two months later.

His dismissal came after his home in East Dulwich, south east London, was raided by police on Nov 6, where he was arrested.

It is understood none of the charges relates to his job at the £20,000-a-year Thomas’s primary school, which was attended by Prince George and Princess Charlotte until the end of the last academic year.

‘Safety of pupils is, and always will be, our top priority’

The National Crime Agency said there was no evidence Smith committed crimes against children in Nepal or the UK.

The Prince and Princess of Wales’s two older children have now moved to Lambrook School, near Ascot, in Berkshire, and had left by the time Mr Smith started work in September.

Before his role at Thomas’s, Mr Smith was assistant head teacher at the British School in Kathmandu, Nepal, for five years.

He also taught at St Paul’s School, and has degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge.

A spokesperson for the school said: “We have been shocked and appalled beyond measure by this matter and are grateful for the work of the police and courts in bringing this man to account. Mr Smith’s employment at the school, which commenced in September 2022, was terminated with immediate effect when the school first learned of the charges against him in November.

“While the National Crime Agency has confirmed that none of the matters under investigation related to the school or its pupils, these deplorable actions constitute an unforgivable breach of trust and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted or damaged by them. As always, we remain absolutely committed to the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our pupils and our whole school community.”

Mr Smith is due to appear at Southwark Crown Court in June.

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