Aug 2007

Ex-teacher had porn pictures of three-year-olds on computer

A former teacher was in jail today for possessing thousands of child pornography pictures.

Walter Oppenheim sobbed in the dock at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday as he was told by a judge that some of the images he had were at the most serious levels and included children as young as three.

Oppenheim, 61, was a teacher at St Mary’s school for girls in Lexden, Colchester, and he also taught history at Braintree College.

None of the images he had were of children who attended the school or college.

Oppenheim was jailed for a total of a year after he admitted 18 charges of making indecent images of children and three of possessing a total of 2,948 indecent images.

The judge also banned Oppenheim from working with children under 16 for life.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.

Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, said a computer hard drive was bought at a car boot sale and, when indecent images were found, police were told.

It was traced back to Oppenheim and, when police went to his home in Langland Court, North Wood, Middlesex, he admitted what he had been doing.

John Hume, mitigating, said there was no chance of Oppenheim offending in this way again.

He added: “There is genuine remorse here and expressions of self disgust. The profession he loved is no longer open to him.”

Judy Kimmanc, chairman of governors at St Mary’s School, said: “We can confirm Walter Oppenheim was head of history at St Mary’s from September 2001 to July 2005.

“He had received Criminal Records Bureau clearance and had appropriate references.”