Former headteacher at West Sussex school charged with child sex offences

Worthing Magistrates' Court. ''Picture: Liz Pearce
Worthing Magistrates' Court. ''Picture: Liz Pearce

The former headteacher at a now-closed West Sussex school has appeared in court charged with sex offences against young boys.

Frank Skipwith, 79, now of Eynsham, Oxfordshire, appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on June 4, charged with 19 historic offences of indecent assault against eight boys aged under 14.

Mr Skipwith was the former headteacher at Fernden preparatory school near the village of Fernhurst.

The school closed in 1985.

Mr Skipwith pleaded not guilty and was committed for trial, with a plea and case management hearing due at Guildford crown Court on July 2.

The prosecution, authorised by the CPS, follows an investigation by detectives from the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit, who received information for the first time in 2017.