FROM SUNDAY LIFE 3RD NOVEMBER 2019
By Ciaran Barnes. Added pictures – Bishop Pat
“AN MI5 TRAINED EX COP WHO SNOOPED ON ROYALTY AND CEBLBS FOR A LONDON TABLOID HAD ADMITTED TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OF STRIKING TEACHERS OUTSIDE A NORTH BELFAST PRIMARY SCHOOL.
ST PATRICK’S PIM STREET
An investigation by an independent panel has found that while Derek Webb’s actions were upset staff he was not instructed by his sister in law Margaret Neeson the principal of St Patrick’s PS Pim Street to carry our surveillance.
SCHOOL PRINCIPAL MARGARET NEESON – DEREK WEBB’S SISTER IN LAW
In an email to the NASUWT union, Mr Webb explained he was only at the school to ensure his step-daughter, a substitute teacher who worked during the strike was safe.
He said “I decided to accompany my wife (in) looking after her daughter’s welfare. I was never employed by any persons or relatives to take photos”.
What Mr Webb did not mention is that after leaving Hertfordshire police, he set up a private detective agency that spied on politicians and celebs for the now defunct News of the World.
At the Levinson Inquiry into press standards he admitted putting 150 people under surveillance at the paper, including actors Sienna Miller and Jude Law.
It was reported that his targets included Prince William. Prince Harry’s ex girlfriend, Chelsy Davey, Match of the Day’s Gary Lineker and former Chelsea and Man Utd manager, Jose Mourinho.
Mr Webb was later arrested and charged with five offences, including aiding and abetting, misconduct in public office. However, the case against him was later withdrawn.
When striking St Patrick’s teachers learned his identity and heard more about his past they were shocked.
They first noticed Mr Webb sitting in a car all day near a picket line on the Antrim Road last November. He reappeared three days in a row heightening staff fears of surveillance.
It would be a further four months before it would they discovered he is the brother-in-law of St Patrick’s principal Margaret Neeson and learned about his background.
This led to the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, CCMS school governors and unions commissioning an independent investigation.
However, it had no powers to interview Webb, his wife or her substitute teacher daughter. The report only identified Webb by his initials “DFW”.
Referring to the relationship between Mr Webb and Mrs Neeson the panel soncluded: “The circumstances of the staff becoming aware that the person who took the photographs was the principal’s brother-in-law, coupled with the fact that this had not been disclosed earlier by the principal, had the effect of heightening the staff’s concern about the possible surveillance”.
The report also found that “there was no evidence available to enable the panel conclude that the staff were subject to surveillance”.
It added, “The panel was satisfied that the employer was not involved in any manner requesting any person to undertake surveillance of staff”.
In evidence St Patrick’s principal Margaret Neeson told the CCMS “she did not commission surveillance, that she waSs not responsible for the actions of her sister or her partner and there was nothing untoward”.
SUNDAY LIFE ENDS.
LETTER TO BISHOP NOEL TREANOR DOWN AND CONNOR
1. If Mr Webb was there to safeguard his stepdaughter entering school at 8.45 why was he there everyday from 7.30 am?
2. Why was such safeguarding necessary when the striking teachers were to a man and a woman thorough ladies and gentlemen and never said “boo” to a goose?
3. Why were teachers approached by police on country roads and at their doorsteps?
4. Why have six teachers currently on sick leave never been approached or asked how they are doing by their employers who have a formal “duty of care” to them?
6. Have the board of governors considered the effect this has had on the teachers their families and their careers?
7. Mr Webb has no reason to be inside the school. Yet he was in there on at least one occasion to deliver scones he had baked. Were proper safeguarding procedures followed?
8. Photograps were hardly necessary to protect his stepdaughter. Why take photographs?
7. Can we less intelligent creatures be condemned for finding all the coincidences in this whole saga difficult to digest?
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