A PEER has criticised the way the investigation into paedophile teacher Martin Goldberg was handled.

Baroness Angela Smith asked the House of Lords why only 700 suspected paedophiles on a list of 50,000 had been investigated.

Tory Government Whip, Baroness Susan Williams, replied to Lady Smith’s question saying: “There is no excusing what went on there. In terms of who is prioritised, they are the people who proved the most harmful to children.”

But Lady Smith, former MP for Basildon from 1997 to 2010, said: “I think the answer was appalling.

“Clearly these people aren’t being prioritised, and if you were running a school, you’d rightly expect to have those that are working in schools being prioritised.

“The Government is saying that crime is falling, but I would say that old types of crime are falling, but they are not taking into account new types of crime – like Goldberg.

“They should concentrate resources on these newer types of crime. I do not support the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston calling for a review.

“We simply need to knowwhat went wrong.”

Mr Goldberg, who was the deputy headteacher at Thorpe Hall School, in GreatWakering, was one of the names on the list passed to UK authorities by Canadian police in 2012. But it took the National Crime Agency a year to pass this information to Essex Police in November 2013.

The county’s force didn’t look into Goldberg for nine months and Essex Police only assigned an officer to his case in September 2014 – when they discovered he was a teacher at the £10,000-a-year school.

The day after they knocked on his door, on September 10, he was found dead.

The series of blunders forced the director general of the agency into making an apology over how the case has been handled, and it has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A search of 46-year-old Goldberg’s home found he had gathered 1,500 images of children by filming them covertly in the school’s changing rooms and the Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre.