South African police arrest teacher, 83, accused of being paedophile dubbed ‘Jimmy Savile Mark II’ who preyed on boys at schools attended by Tony Blair and BBC presenter Nicky Campbell
- Former SNP leader Ian Blackford told Parliament the suspect’s alias is ‘Edgar’
- He is suspected of molesting boys at Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College
- He is also accused of continuing the behaviour in a South African school
A retired teacher accused of preying on boys at two leading public schools in Scotland has been arrested in South Africa.
The 83-year-old, who was referred to as ‘Edgar’ by former SNP leader Ian Blackford but whose real name cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, was brought before the city’s Wynberg Magistrates Court this afternoon.
He was bailed and will return to court on April 13.
Dubbed ‘Jimmy Savile Mark II’ by Blackford, Edgar is accused of crimes against boys at Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College – the alma mater of ex-PM Tony Blair – in the 1970s. He denies the allegations.
BBC presenter Nicky Campbell, who attended the Academy in the 1970s, has led calls for him to be brought back to the UK to stand trial, with a court hearing due to take place later this year.
The 83-year-old, seen in a South African court today, has been dubbed ‘Jimmy Savile Mark II’ by a Scottish MP and is accused of crimes against boys at Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College
Former SNP leader Ian Blackford used parliamentary privilege to name the man known as ‘Edgar’ who is accused of being a dangerous sexual predator in the 1970s
BBC presenter Nicky Campbell, who attended the Academy in the 1970s, has led calls for ‘Edgar’ to be brought back to the UK to stand trial
Edgar denies having molested pupils while teaching in Scotland, and also denied accusations of similar behaviour after moving to teach in a prestigious school in Cape Town.
He is currently subject to an order at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry preventing his identification.
But former SNP leader Blackford earlier this month used parliamentary privilege to declare his alias as ‘Edgar’ in the House of Commons.
In a session of Education Questions in the House of Commons on January 16, Mr Blackford told MPs: ‘All of us in this house will prioritise keeping school children safe from sexual predators and I am sure the minister will be aware of the Scottish Child Abuse enquiry detailing the horrific allegations from a number of witnesses to events at Edinburgh Academy and Fettes schools by an individual referred to as ”Edgar”.
The 83-year-old, dubbed ‘Jimmy Savile Mark II’ by Blackford, is accused of crimes against boys at Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College (pictured)
‘I have a number of constituents who have complaints against ”Edgar”. This man has admitted to inappropriate behaviour and is currently fighting extradition from South Africa where he has been publicly named.
‘There is precedence (sic) in England where another alleged abuser living in South Africa whose extradition has been sought has been publicly named.
‘We now know that there are dozens of boys who have come forward to the police with allegations against the man referred to as ”Edgar”. It is important that others who were abused by this man can come forward.
‘It is right that his crimes against children are named – and it is also right that he is now named.’
The 83-year-old is accused of crimes against boys at Edinburgh Academy (top) and Fettes College (above) – the alma mater of ex-PM Tony Blair, and has since moved to South Africa
Earlier this month Mr Campbell, 61, alleged he witnessed ‘Edgar’ abusing his friend in his school’s changing rooms and described his conduct as ‘so ubiquitous’ that all of the pupils knew what was going on.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Campbell said: ‘He could well be one of the most prolific paedophiles in British criminal history if you do the maths and look at how long he taught and how many schools he was at.’
After Campbell went public with the allegations, other former pupils of Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College stepped forward with stories of abuse.
Edinburgh Academy has since issued a public apology and says it is cooperating with police.
In a statement to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, Fettes College – whose alumni include former PM Tony Blair – made a ‘full and unreserved apology’.
Edgar, who lives in a retirement complex in Cape Town, was arrested in South Africa in 2019 by British Police, and has a further extradition hearing set for March 17.