March 2007

Child porn sentence cut

A FORMER teacher who downloaded more than 1,000 child porn images had his jail sentence slashed after his partner pleaded to the court.

Mark Anthony Royle, 40, of Raphael Avenue, Tilbury was sentenced to two years’ prison last November after pleading guilty to 16 offences of making and possessing indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of a child.

London’s Court of Appeal has now cut it back to 18 months after Royle’s partner wrote to them to describe the anguish the prison sentence had caused her family. She said she would stand by her partner despite finding the images “sickening in the extreme”.

Mr Justice Owen said he had agreed a cut in the sentence because the “compulsive downloading” had stopped two months before his arrest.

He said: “What is clear is that Royle recognised that he had a serious problem in relation to child pornography over three months before his arrest and took steps to address it.

“In consequence he ceased to download material well before his arrest.”

Royle had also written to the court to say he was sorry and embarrassed about the pain caused to the children in the images.

The judge added: “As a result of his conviction he has lost his job and all prospects of working as a teacher ever again.”

Royle was teaching at a school in Bexley when police were told in December 2005 that he was accessing indecent images on his school computer.

On investigating his home and work laptop officers discovered 1,311 images depicting child photography and 105 movie files showing the abuse of children.