October 2008

Teacher downloaded child porn

A HIGH school teacher has been banned from using the internet after he pleaded guilty to downloading almost 1,000 indecent images.

Liverpool Crown Court was told that Stephen Royle had some of the images of the children, aged between about 7-12, on his school laptop as well as his home computer.

Royle, aged 53, was an IT teacher at Lowton High School at the time of the offences.

Royle, of Spelding Drive, Standish Lower Ground, Wigan, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to one offence of possessing indecent images and 16 counts of making indecent images of children.

A Liverpool Crown Court judge sentenced him to 34 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for two years. He was also made subject of a supervision order for two years and must take part in the Sex Offender Treatment Programme.

After his arrest in November 2007 Royle’s home was searched and officers seized computer equipment.

The items were examined and officers discovered indecent images of children. He had saved 58 images, but a further 890 had been viewed and deleted.

DS Robert Willis, of GMP’s Sexual Crimes Unit, said: “Cases like this can strike fear into parents and I want to stress there was no evidence to suggest Royle was involved in any illegal or inappropriate activity with children from the school where he worked.

” People who download this sort of depraved and unlawful material from the internet are contributing to the abuse of children. If there wasn’t a market for it, children would no longer be abused in this way.”

In addition to his sentence, Royle was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years and was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for an indefinite period.

The order bans him from accessing any computer or device capable of connecting to the internet with the purpose of accessing any web-based email account or chatrooms. He must also allow police officers access to his computer to monitor his internet activity.

Royle is further banned from collecting photographs of children, whether indecent or otherwise, other than members of his family.

He is also prohibited from having unsupervised contact with children aged under 16 in any accommodation where he lives and is banned from contacting or communicating in any way with children with a view to inciting or grooming for the purposes of sexual activity.