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Prickly problem for egg hunters

While most teachers were gearing up for the Easter holidays, pupils at Southbroom CofE Junior School in Wiltshire had to be reassured that two of their teachers would not be sent to prison for the theft of chocolate eggs.

After a stash of 100 eggs went missing in the school, the 228 pupils began investigating the case. They had help from local PC Adam Hall and a detective from Wiltshire Police who is a parent at the school.

Pupils analysed evidence from the scene of the crime, including a footprint and a handwritten note. They also interviewed their adult suspects and used chromatography to make a forensic analysis of ink from staff members' pens.

The pupils' inquiries revealed that Anne Normington, deputy headteacher, and Anita Roberts, teaching assistant, had stolen the chocolate. Their motive was to arrange an Easter egg hunt on nearby Roundway Down in support of a charity for hedgehogs.

David Jopling, headteacher, said: "We assured the younger pupils that Mrs Normington and Mrs Roberts were not going to prison and the theft was not real."

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