A BASILDON teacher has denied a series of child sex offences.

Timothy Eastwell, 57, a teacher from Woodcote Road, Leigh, made his first appearance at Basildon Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning where he denied eight counts of child sexual abuse.

Eastwell is charged with four counts of sexual assault by touching a girl aged four to five and two counts of sexual assault by touching a boy aged four to five.

He was also charged with one count of inciting a boy aged four to five to engage in sexual activity and one count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child aged four to five.

Eastwell, who appeared in the dock wearing a navy blue suit and white shirt, spoke only to confirm his name and address and to deny all charges.

Eastwell was initially arrested by officers on suspicion of sexual grooming on Tuesday, June 26 before he was released on bail.

In August, he was re-arrested on suspicion of two counts of sexual activity involving a child under 13 and two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 and was re-bailed in September and October before he was eventually charged on October 29.

Due to the nature of the charges, the magistrates declined jurisdiction and referred the case to Basildon Crown Court on January 3 for his next appearance.

He is not currently working following the allegations.

Eastwell has not been convicted of any offences with a trial expected to take place some time next year.

Police continue to investigate.

If any members of the public have any information relating to the case, please call Basildon’s Child Abuse Investigation Team directly on 0800 0560 944 or alternatively you can ring 0207 1580 010.