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CLEARED FISH CASE HEAD RAPS POLICE.

Byline: AIDAN McGURRAN

HEADMASTER David Watkins hit out yesterday after being cleared of pushing a dead fish into an 11-year-old boy's mouth.

Magistrates threw out an assault charge, because of "inconsistency and changes of evidence" by witnesses.

Mr Watkins said later: "I blame the Crown Prosecution Service and I blame the police."

His solicitor Simon Nicholls said: "We have spent months trying to persuade the CPS of the error of prosecuting.

"The lack of objectivity displayed by the officer who investigated...set in train proceedings which were inappropriate." It was claimed the boy, who was playing with the 10in cod, refused to put it in a bin - and Mr Watkins lost his temper, held him in a headlock and pushed it into his mouth.

But the court heard the boy had a grudge against the head for banning him from a soccer tournament.

Margaret Roberts, appointed the boy's personal tutor due to his behaviour, said he was disruptive and had been physically aggressive.

Mr Watkins, 51, is suspended from the school in Norwich. Governors will now meet to decide "appropriate action".

CAPTION(S):

BLAME: Mr Watkins
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 3, 2003
Words:186
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