Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Belfast maths teacher accused of breaching sex offenders' register

By Paul Higgins

A disgraced retired vice principal has been back in court charged with breaching the sex offenders' register.

Francis Noel Stroud is accused of two offences relating to alleged breaches.

These are that he failed to notify police of a change of home address and that, as a convicted sex offender, he failed to make an annual report to officers to specify his name, address and date of birth on November 7 this year.

The 70-year-old appeared at Lisburn Magistrat'es Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison yesterday.

In October 2014, Stroud, who was a maths teacher and vice principal in south Belfast's Hunterhouse College, walked free from court with a two-year probation order after an allegation of sexual assault was replaced by an harassment offence.

Originally charged with sexually assaulting the 16-year-old girl on dates between February 1 and April 20 2011, Stroud, from Sandymount Mews in Dunmurry, instead pleaded guilty to harassing the girl.

Prosecuting lawyer Ian Tannahill told the court at that time how the girl's father arranged for Stroud to privately tutor his daughter for her maths GCSE.

However, within weeks Stroud had sent her an inappropriate "chain" of text messages which "alarmed" the girl. The lawyer added that Stroud would "rub the injured party's leg," adding that his behaviour "contributed to her distress".

However, as Craigavon Crown Court heard, it is not the first time that the behaviour of pensioner Stroud has been called into question.

Ordering Stroud to follow probation instructions to the letter or face jail, Judge Patrick Lynch QC warned Stroud that the authorities had reopened investigations into his dealings with other pupils he taught privately.

The judge revealed that Stroud had been sacked from his previous job "by virtue of a similar allegation which is the subject of further enquiry".

The alleged sex offender's register breaches came a little under two weeks before Stroud escaped going to prison with a suspended jail term but was ordered to pay his victim £5,000 in compensation.

Stroud, a father of three, had confessed to indecently assaulting a female on a date unknown between September 1 and December 31 1994.

As well as the nine-month jail term, suspended for three years, Stroud was ordered to remain in the police sex offenders' register for the next 10 years.

District Judge Amanda Brady adjourned the case for a week.

Belfast Telegraph


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