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Man arrested after claim girl was being groomed on the Internet
Daily Mail, Saturday, March 26, 2005
Paedophile probe at army school
By Dawn Thomson
Queen Victoria School

A MILITARY boarding school was last night at the centre of a police investigation after a female pupil was allegedly groomed for sex over the internet.

Concerned staff at the Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, contacted police over fears that the 13-year-old boarder had been targeted by a paedophile over a number of months.

A man was yesterday arrested and charged with the alleged incident.

A spokesman for Central Scotland Police said: "Following an operation by Central Scotland Police's computer crime unit officers arrested a 53 year-old man at an address in High Wycombe at


5.30am after allegations were received of indecent behaviour towards a juvenile."  The spokesman added: "Computer equipment and other items were seized during the operation and will now be examined."

Police swooped on the school earlier this week to seize computers believed to have been used by the girl after staff discovered the alleged grooming.

The man is expected to appear at Stirling Sheriff Court on Thursday on charges including lewd and libidinous behaviour and offences under the Telecommunications Act.

Meanwhile the Scottish Daily Mail can reveal that the school  - for the children of Scottish service men and women - has been at the centre of four other police investigations in the past year.

It recently emerged that detectives are looking into two separate claims that male teachers had "inappropriate relationships" with female pupils. In another incident, a boy was allegedly attacked by a gang of other pupils.

The two teachers involved in the police investigations are English lecturer James McNally and computing head John Lawrence. LINK  The men were suspended earlier this year amid allegations they had inappropriate relationships with girl pulpils.

The procurator fiscal is considering what action to take.

Last May, a 14 year-old boy claimed he had been the victim of an attack by six other boys in a common room.

The fourth police investigation at the school involved a gap-year student who was forced to leave his post as a member of the house staff after he was found guilty of lewd and libidinous behaviour.

In addition, there are two internal investigations taking place at the 270-pupil school  - whose £4 million annual running costs are met by the taxpayer and where parents pay minimal fees.

These involve assistant head Lynn Smith and housemistress Ann MacDougal, suspended after they were criticised in an inspectors' report in February.

And a member of the school's domestic staff is considering taking the school to a tribunal after allegations of bullying.  One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: "Look beyond the school's very good pipe band, which is well known, and there are serious problems.  There is a culture of things happening which would seem incredible at any other school.  What is going on gives great reason for concern about pupil welfare, both as regards the action of staff and pupils."  The insider said staff were amazed that the February report generally praised the school and its leadership.

The insider said: "It smacks of a cover-up.  But many staff are reluctant to speak up because they are paid very good salaries by the taxpayer."

A spokesman for Central Scotland Police said: "Investigations have been carried out into a number of alleged complaints.   Reports have been submitted to the procurator fiscal."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, which is responsible for the running of the school, was unable to comment.

The headteacher, Brian Raine (no pun intended), could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

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