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Accused Australian bailed tonight



Accused Australian bailed tonight | Thaiger

PHUKET: An Australian man accused of sexually assaulting a four-year-old boy at an international school in Phuket is set to be released on bail this evening.

Andrew Clements, 51, posted 800,000 baht in bail and will be released from Phuket Provincial Prison.

Mr Clements, from northern Tasmania, was arrested at his house in Chalong by Thalang Police at 8:15pm on March 19.

The arrest came after a Thai woman told police Mr Clements abused her son at Phuket International Academy (PIA) last year.

The boy only told his mother about what took place recently. He was unable to specify the date of the incident.

Mr Clements denies the charge of sexual abuse.

The Advocate newspaper in Australia reported that Mr Clements was a former professional basketball player who represented his country.

A former Tasmanian basketball teammate told the paper he was “shocked, just shocked, to hear the allegations.”

“There will be a lot of people in basketball that know Clemo that would be thinking that would not be true,” he said.

Len Peters, head of PIA Day School, has made the following statement regarding the case:

“We regret to confirm that a former teacher at the Phuket International Academy Day School, Mr Andrew Clements, was arrested over the weekend by the Royal Thai Police and charged with committing an act of child abuse against a student at the school.

“This is profoundly distressing for everyone connected with the school. As soon as we learned of this allegation, we immediately offered our full and unconditional cooperation to the family involved, and to the Royal Thai Police.

“It should be noted that Mr Clements was dismissed from the school in December 2009. There is absolutely no connection between his dismissal from the school and the criminal charge which he now faces.

“The safety and welfare of the children in our care, and of their families, is our absolute priority. We have already contacted the parents of all the children who attend the school, and our staff, to notify them of the situation. We will keep them fully informed as the situation develops, and will provide whatever support is necessary to the wider school community.

“Given the highly sensitive nature of the allegation, and of the need to protect the privacy of the family involved, we are not able to make any further comments.”

— Pimwara Choksakulpan


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