July 2010

Sussex man jailed for filming pupils undressing

A teaching assistant in Sussex has been jailed for secretly filming schoolchildren as young as five as they changed for sports lessons.

Ian Fritz Riley, 25, of Haywards Heath, was given a three-and-a-half year sentence at Hove Crown Court.

The former primary school assistant admitted 34 offences of making and possessing indecent computer images.

West Sussex County Council said Riley, of Colwell Road, had undergone criminal checks before being appointed.

It said there had been “no reason” to suspect him.

Riley was also banned from possessing any image-making equipment and ordered to remain on the sex offenders register for life.

Swimming lessons

He was charged on 27 April following a nine-month investigation by Sussex Police’s paedophile online investigation team.

Twenty-three of the 34 offences related to the covert filming of 23 children aged between five and 10, whilst they were changing for karate lessons Riley ran at four school premises in Mid-Sussex, and on one occasion whilst changing for swimming lessons.

Police said they were level one images, the least serious on a scale of one to five, and there was no evidence they were distributed.

None of the video-filming offences involved physical contact with the children, a force spokeswoman added.

The children’s parents have been visited by police child protection officers and offered extra support from social workers.

Riley had downloaded from the internet a further 11 indecent images of children, ranging in seriousness from level one to level five.

Det Ch Insp Nev Kemp said the force had worked with schools to bring Riley to justice.

He said: “This has been a challenging inquiry, because of the number of children involved and because of the position of trust that Ian Riley abused as a teaching assistant.”

Stuart Gallimore, the director of operations for children and young people at West Sussex County Council, said: “We have worked closely with Sussex Police on looking after the interests of the children involved.

“Ian Riley passed a Criminal Records Bureau check, and until his offences came to light, there was no reason to suspect him.

“However we will be looking closely at the aftermath of this case, to ensure that any lessons are learned.”