Prowler taking pictures of children at Catherington school chased off by dinner lady

A PROWLER taking pictures of children at an infants school was chased away by a quick-thinking dinner lady.

Catherington Infants School
Catherington Infants School

Just before 1pm yesterday the man was spotted in the cemetery next to Catherington Infants School, Catherington.

When the dinner lady realised what he was doing she ran up to him and, crucially, noted his car registration number.

Police were called and in a letter to parents, the school said it had been told police have traced the car to a man who lives outside the area.

Now parents have spoken out in praise of the dinner lady’s actions. A mother with a young daughter at the school said parents were left shaken by what happened.

The mother, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It’s scary when it’s on your own doorstep. The dinner lady managed to scare him off.

‘I think she is absolutely awesome to take on someone like that.’

A police officer visited the school shortly after the incident and reassured the children they were safe.

The mother said she and other mums had given their children the ‘stranger danger’ talk.

In a letter sent home to parents by headteacher Melanie Williams, they were advised a man in a dark-coloured car was caught taking photographs of the children. It added: ‘When he was approached by the dinner lady he sped off.’

It said the younger children at the school did not notice what had happened.

The News contacted the school but Mrs Williams said she had been advised not to comment on the incident.

On January 26, children were approached in Catherington Lane and Merchistoun Road, Horndean, by a woman who tried to get them in her car. She verbally abused them when they walked off. Schools in the area were warned and police put on extra patrols.

A police statement said: ‘We can confirm that we received a report of a suspicious incident outside Catherington Infants School.

‘A man was seen acting suspiciously in a vehicle and drove off when he was approached. He did not speak to anyone during the incident. Officers are carrying out enquiries and have identified an individual who may have been involved, whom we will be speaking to in due course.’

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.