Former teacher in court accused of sex offences at Suffolk school

The former St George's School in Great Finborough

The former St George's School in Great Finborough - Credit: Archant

A former teacher at a Norfolk and Suffolk school has appeared in court accused of 34 child sex charges against nine ex-pupils after being extradited to England from France.

Gerard Singer taught languages at the now-defunct St George's School in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, in the 1980s.

St George's has been at the centre of an ongoing police investigation, codenamed Operation Racecourse, since 2009.

Before relocating to Suffolk after the summer term of 1980, the school was based at Wicklewood, near Wymondham.

Singer worked at both locations as a languages teacher.

The 68-year-old French national, of Rue Alanoy, Elnes, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, was brought back from France on Tuesday and taken to Martlesham police investigation centre by Suffolk police officers.

He remained in custody overnight and he was formally charged with 34 offences.

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These include 16 indecent assaults and 12 counts of gross indecency with a boy under 14. The charges relate to the early 1980s.

Singer appeared before Ipswich magistrates this morning for a short hearing via a video link from Martlesham police headquarters.

The bespectacled former teacher spoke with a French accent as he confirmed his name, address and date of birth, as well as his understanding of the proceedings.

The clerk of the court explained to the three magistrates that because of the seriousness of the alleged offences they would have to send the matters to crown court.

Asia Hussain, representing Singer, told the court there would be no application for bail on her client's behalf.

At the end of the hearing Singer was told his case would be sent to Ipswich Crown Court where a preliminary hearing would be scheduled for January 5.

A trial window was given as between May 10 and June 17.

Singer was then remanded in custody until his next hearing.