Beds, Herts & Bucks

Teacher Alexander Eldridge guilty of child sexual offences

Alexander Eldridge Image copyright SBNA
Image caption Former teacher Alexander Eldridge was found guilty of child sex offences

A reception class teacher "hid in plain sight" as he sexually assaulted a five-year-old at school, a court heard.

Alexander Eldridge, 33, also filmed up the skirt of another child while he taught at a primary school in Cheshunt, East Hertfordshire.

A jury at St Albans Crown Court found him guilty of sexual assault and making indecent images of children.

Judge Stephen Warner told him to expect a "significant custodial sentence" at a hearing next month.

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Prosecuting, Sarah Morris QC told the court that Eldridge was one of two reception class teachers at the school and had been there since Autumn 2011.

In May last year he sent a text to parents to say children were to have a "water day" - asking them to bring a change of clothes and towels.

Ms Morris accused Eldridge of "liking little girls", telling him that his job allowed him to be "hiding in plain sight."

'Emotional case'

She said: "The true position was that being a teacher suited your sexual needs. You liked girls sitting on your lap.

"You liked looking at them in knickers and in a state of undress."

Eldridge, of Hertford, was arrested and suspended after a child reported that she had been touched by the teacher, the court heard.

The jury found Eldridge guilty of six counts of making indecent photographs of children in 2016, sexual assault on a child in May 2017 and in June 2017 and making indecent images of children.

Det Cons Anthony Hooper, from Hertfordshire Constabulary's joint Child Protection Investigation Team, said: "This has been an emotional case for all involved and we are very pleased Eldridge has been found guilty due to the severity of his offending.

"Our team of detectives have worked extremely hard to bring this case to court and we would like to commend the bravery of the victims and their families."

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