Former teacher, 67, at George Osborne’s old prep school dies ‘shortly after being charged with historical sexual offence’
- Tim Harbord, 67, worked at Colet Court but left following allegations in 2013
- Mr Harbord worked at junior division of St Paul’s Preparatory School for 25 years
- He was arrested in 2013 on suspicion of sexually grooming a pupil but released
- Was arrested again as part of police enquiry Operation Winthorpe one year later
- Former student was told he was charged with indecent assault and killed himself
Former teacher at George Osborne’s £30,000-a-year school Tim Harbord, 67, (pictured) has died not long after he was allegedly charged with a historical sex offence
A former teacher at George Osborne’s £30,000-a-year school has died not long after he was allegedly charged with a historical sexual offence.
Tim Harbord, 67, worked at Colet Court – the junior division of St Paul’s Preparatory School in Barnes, south-west London – for 25 years.
Mr Harbord – a sports coach who taught English and history – left in 2013 after he was arrested on suspicion of sexually grooming a pupil. He was released and did not faces charges.
He was arrested again as part of police enquiry Operation Winthorpe one year later but was released in this case too.
But one former student who put forward allegations against the teacher was told by a police officer that he was charged with indecent assault and killed himself shortly after, The Times reports.
Prior to his first arrest, Mr Harbord was questioned after a boy’s parents contacted the school to return a leather jacket sent by the teacher to their son as a present.
After he was released with no charge the first time, he said: ‘I was interviewed by the police.
They went through all sorts of questions. It was the most despairing time of my life, but then I got a call to say the matter wasn’t going any further.
‘There was a formal disciplinary meeting with the headmaster, and I had to accept the school policy about gifts and seeing children outside school, and that I mustn’t contact the family. It is very sad because we were very close.’
Mr Harbord insisted he has no sexual interest in boys. ‘I’ve always wanted to be married with a family, but I was married to the school.’
He then faced questions about allegations of sexual assault against a child one year later when he was arrested again as part of police enquiry Operation Winthorpe.
He was not charged in either of these cases and has denied every allegation made against him.
Mr Harbord worked at Colet Court – the junior division of St Paul’s Preparatory School in Barnes, south-west London – for 25 years (file image)
High master of St Paul’s Mark Bailey told parents of the news, writing: ‘It is possible that he taught some pupils who will be entering the Upper Eighth [Year 13] in September, and they may find these circumstances distressing.’
Private school St Paul’s, established in 1509, came under investigation after a number of pupils who attended between the 1960s and 1980s were said to have come forward with information.
Pupils can pay up to £30,000 a year to board at St Paul’s, equating to £10,880 a term.
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