A teacher at a Catholic primary school has been charged with a catalogue of sexual offences against CHILDREN, it emerged today.
Joseph O’Malley, 27, has left parents ‘gobsmacked’ after he was arrested and charged with 12 counts of sexual touching of victims under the age of 13.
The teacher was suspended from Our Lady of Lourdes School in Yardley Wood, Birmingham, where he has worked for three years, after the allegations came to light in April.
O’Malley, from Shirley, West Mids., was arrested and originally quizzed on four allegations of inappropriate touching.
He was bailed twice and on Tuesday was charged with a total of 12 sexual offences after another one of his five alleged victims came forward.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “A 27-year-old has been charged with 12 counts of sexual touching of victims under the age of 13.
“As soon as the allegations came to light, police, along with the school, took appropriate safeguarding action.
“A full and thorough investigation is underway and the enquiry is ongoing.
“He has been bailed to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on July 22.”
A parent at the school claimed there has been no official confirmation from the school on the charge.
The concerned dad, who did not want to be named said: “The parents are absolutely gobsmacked.
“They are in a complete state of shock about the allegations. But some may not be aware.
“We have not seen the teacher for a few months, but there has been no official message from the school.
“They have not sent a letter, an email or arranged a meeting.”
Another mum with a daughter at the school added: “Everybody said what a good teacher he was and we were all confused when he left out of the blue.
“We’ve been kept in the dark about it and everybody is absolutely stunned and pretty much speechless.”
The school – which was given a ‘good’ Ofsted rating in September this year – caters for 263 pupils – aged three to 11.
A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council confirmed the suspension and police investigation.
She said: “A teacher has been suspended at Our Lady of Lourdes School pending a police investigation.
“It is routine that, during any police investigation, a teacher will be suspended without prejudice.”
O’Malley will appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court on July 22.