School teaching assistant bailed over sex assault

SUSPENDED A teaching assistant at Thorney Island Primary School has been arrested on suspicion of indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl
SUSPENDED A teaching assistant at Thorney Island Primary School has been arrested on suspicion of indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl

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A teaching assistant has been arrested on suspicion of indecently assaulting a child.

Sussex Police have confirmed that the 32-year-old, who worked at Thorney Island Community Primary School, near Emsworth, was held on Monday.

The member of staff arrested has been suspended from their post while the investigation continues.

In a statement Sussex Police said: ‘A 32-year-old West Sussex man was arrested on Monday by child protection detectives on suspicion of indecent assault on a seven-year-old girl.’

The statement added: ‘The girl is not physically injured.

‘There are no other allegations against the man at this time.’

Thorney Island is a military base for the Royal Artillery.

It is under the control of West Sussex County Council.

In a statement the council confirmed the member of staff has been suspended, and added: ‘We have been made aware that police have arrested a 32-year-old West Sussex man on a charge of indecent assault.

‘We will work with both Sussex Police colleagues and education and social care colleagues to help with the investigation in any way that we can.’

Councillor Bob Hayes represents Southbourne, which covers Thorney Island, on Chichester District Council.

He said: ‘It is a shock to hear of this. I have every confidence in the school and the police in the way they will deal this matter.

‘I’m sure there will be a robust investigation.’

The school received its last Ofsted inspection in 2013 and was rated good.

The man has been bailed until October.