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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
School fights to evict paedophile
Beechfield Primary School
The council say they have done legally everything to evict Martin
A convicted paedophile is living in the grounds of a primary school despite a court battle to evict him.

Timothy Martin, 34, was found guilty at St Albans Crown Court last week of sexual activity with a child.

A judge refused an eviction bid in December saying Martin had a tenancy agreement and, as he was awaiting trial, did not have a conviction.

Martin is on bail awaiting sentencing - an appeal against the failed eviction bid will be heard on 25 May.

Martin moved into the school cottage last July when he was offered the job of caretaker at Beechfield School in Watford, Herts.

Police checks by the school then revealed the investigation against him.

We are appalled by this situation
Hertfordshire County Council spokesman

The council started eviction proceedings against Martin as soon as he was charged last September - the proceedings were heard at Watford County Court in early December.

But the judge refused to force Martin out even though he had not signed a tenancy agreement.

The judge said under the law he had an assured short term tenancy agreement and was allowed to remain.

The council then tried to get the Crown Court judge presiding over Martin's criminal case to alter his bail conditions to say he could not live on the school grounds but he also refused.

Parents were not told of Martin's background until after his conviction when they received a letter from the head teacher, who until then was legally bound not to inform them.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said: "We are appalled by this situation."

Measures were taken by the school to prevent Martin gaining access to its buildings, with security doors being kept locked and the head teacher monitoring children as they left the grounds.

An appeal was immediately lodged against the county court's decision but this is not due to be heard until 25 May.


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Parents talk about their concerns at having a paedophile on school grounds



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