Former North-East teacher is arrested in Australia

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Darlington)

A FORMER teacher at a North-East public school has been arrested in Australia for child sex offences.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in Perth in the Eighties, shortly after Lindsay Hutchinson moved to Australia, having taught at Durham School.

The talented musician originally came to Durham from Melbourne, having won a scholarship to study at the university, before he went on to teach music at Durham School.

During his time in Durham, he regularly played on the organ in the city’s Norman cathedral.

He was a teacher in Durham in the late-Seventies and early-Eighties.

Last month, Mr Hutchinson, 61, was extradited to Perth from Melbourne and charged with 15 child sex offences against a teenage boy in the mid-Eighties.

He is alleged to have indecently assaulted the 13-yearold student while teaching at Christchurch Grammar boys’ school, in Perth’s western suburbs, between 1984 and 1985.

The prosecution has said it has evidence from other students who also claim to have been indecently assaulted by him.

Mr Hutchinson has already faced criminal charges for child sex offences, when he pleaded guilty in 1997 to a sexual offence charge against a 13-year-old boy in Adelaide as a result of a deal with the prosecution.

All other charges relating to that offence were dropped as a result of a hung jury.

in 1987, he was also dismissed from Christ’s College, in Christchurch, New Zealand, following sexual allegations for which he never faced any charges.

At the time of his most recent arrest, he was teaching at the Melbourne College of Divinity, in Australia.

His lawyer, Mara Barone, said he had not been sacked from his employment.

She said: “He has not been fired. They intend to have a conversation with Mr Hutchinson, hopefully face to face, to discuss his future employment prospects.”

Mr Hutchinson is a worldrenowned organist and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Letters for contributions to education and community arts programmes.

Nicola McCann, the director of marketing at Durham school, confirmed that Mr Hutchinson had worked there in the early-Eighties, but said there was no further information available about his time at the school.

Mr Hutchinson has been granted bail for the offences on the condition that he lives with his sister in Tasmania and does not judge children’s music concerts.

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