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Child-sex charge teacher faces bribes claim.

A Midland magistrate has been accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice while on bail in Thailand on child sex abuse charges.

Philip Howarth (39) a magistrate in Wolverhampton and a teacher at the public Royal Wolverhampton Junior School, is charged with abusing a 14-year-old boy.

Thai police are now investigating claims that he made an approach to the mother of the child intending to bribe her to change her evidence against him. A local police officer has also been accused of aiding in the suppression of the case.

A Pattaya police spokesman said the complaints received from the child watch group, the Coalition to Fight Against Child Exploitation, were being looked into.

Howarth, nicknamed Bertha Bile, was remanded on pounds 4,000 bail on Wednesday on charges of indecency with a minor and separating a child from his parents.

Howarth, of Penn Road, Wolverhampton, denies the charge saying the boy was teaching him Thai.

The latest allegations follow complaints to FACE claiming Howarth continued to cruise paedophile haunts in the resort with two Dutch friends, Johannes Bloem (51) and Cornelius Prins (42) even after he was charged.

Thai police said they had established Howarth's two long-term friends, who were arrested at the same time as him on similar charges, were also on the run from the Dutch police.

The pair were in adjoining rooms to Howarth on the same floor of the Honey Inn, in Pattaya, when they were arrested for alleged paedophile offences in July.

Bloem and Prins, also teachers, had previously absconded from bail in Haarlem, Holland, on charges of indecency with a boy pupil in the Netherlands.

Sitting sipping cola with a teenage boy in a department store next to a gaming arcade, Howarth yesterday denied the latest allegations.

He said: "I have paid my lawyer to defend me in the best possible way. I have never seen the mother of the boy in my case. There is nothing linking me to children."

The nickname 'Bertha Bile' allegedly comes from a drag act Howarth put on in a gay club while on holiday in Bali.

Court officials have suspended the bachelor from the Wolverhampton bench until the conclusion of the case.
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Author:Worrall, Boris
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 8, 1999
Words:367
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