April 2022

Wokingham teacher sentenced for child sexual abuse images

A music teacher at a Wokingham private school has been spared jail despite “using every spare hour” to download more than 10,000 indecent images of children and speaking to other perverts online about children being raped

Gordon Waterson, who now lives on Clinton Road in Edinburgh, also distributed images of young boys being abused in order to join smutty group chats where ‘like-minded people’ would discuss child sexual abuse and rape

He was suspended by his employers in July 2020 after it emerged Waterson had been downloading indecent images — including material featuring boys aged between two and ten-years-old — since 2015.

The 33-year-old taught as the Director of Music at Ludgrove School, an independent boarding school for boys aged 8-13 in Wokingham where parents pay £9,775 per term.

Police arrested Waterson at Ludgrove School after linking his email address and phone number to the access of child sexual abuse images

The teacher, originally from Scotland, had four iPhones on which he stored 10,000 images, which included 1,880 category A indecent images (the most explicit kind) showing the rape and torture of young boys

Officers retrieved a further 360,000 images on his devices — “which may or may not have been indecent”, Reading Crown Court heard — but these were not analysed as police did not have the resources to go through them all.

Waterson had been employed be Ludgrove since at least 2019, according to articles still live on the school’s website. He appears to have gone on a ski trip with pupils in 2019.

Months before his arrest, Waterson volunteered to help Wokingham Borough Council’s coronavirus response team delivering prescriptions across the community.

Kirsty Day, prosecuting, said the music teacher stored images on Dropbox, Skype, Tumblr and other social media sites.

An analysis of his devices found he sent indecent images over chat app Kik in December 2015, which he distributed in order to join chats where other paedophiles would discuss child porn.

The images he downloaded included children as young as two-years-old, Reading Crown Court heard, with many of the victims being sexually abused by adults.

Since his arrest and release on bail, Waterson has worked in a supermarket, set up his own voiceover business and secured a HGV driving licence.

Waterson was spared jail after Her Honour Judge Nott said he had a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

The judge laid into the 33-year-old prior to sentencing him, however, lamenting him for joining lewd group chats with other “like-minded people” in particular.

Referencing the volume of images found on his devices, Nott said: “You must have been using every spare hour to access and discuss these sexual images.

Waterson was spared jail after he was handed a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years.

He will have to take part in 180 hours of unpaid work and rehabilitation activities as part of his sentence.

The former was sentenced for three counts of making indecent images and three counts of distributing indecent images at Reading Crown Court on Friday, April 22