A top teacher in Coventry is awaiting sentence for
taking and possessing photographs of naked boys.
John Skermer, a former senior teacher at King Henry VIII School, admitted taking secret
snaps of naked boys. He processed the illicit films at the school where he also received a
French magazine devoted to child pornography.
Skermer, 51, of Allesley Old Road, Coventry, pleaded guilty at Coventry Magistrates
Court to four charges of taking indecent photographs of a child between 1 January 1980 and
12 April 1999.
He also pleaded guilty to five charges of possessing indecent photographs of a child
during the same period.
Gail Fellows, prosecuting, said Skermer took some of his photographs of young boys in a
bath following a rugby match. He also took pictures of three boys from his school in
thongs, two boys fishing naked and a naked boy on a beach.
Steve Millerchip defending told the magistrates:
"None of the photographs recovered from his house shows any sexual activity. None
was considered obscene. There has never been any suggestion that Skermer ever touched or
propositioned a child."
Millerchip said Skermer, a teacher at King Henry VIII for 25 years, had received around
fifty letters of support from former pupils and colleagues.
At the end of the hearing the magistrates bailed Skermer. He will be sentenced at
Coventry Crown Court on 16 July.
The police later revealed how suspicion had fallen on the schoolteacher.
A parcel addressed to Skermer was intercepted by Customs and Excise staff and found to
contain pornographic material. His house was searched and he was arrested.
In a separate and unconnected case Terence Vardon, the former headmaster at King Henry
VIII was fined £4,000 and ordered to be registered as a sex offender when he pleaded
guilty to possessing indecent photographs of a child at Mid Warwickshire Magistrates Court
recently. Formerly of Leamington Spa, he is reportedly now living in Germany.