December 2021

Suspended jail term for teaching assistant who had indecent images of children

A teaching assistant who had 300 indecent images of children and lied on his CV to get a job in Suffolk has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jacob Kennedy was found to have downloaded 328 indecent images of children and 5 videos after police seized devices belonging to him following a referral from the National Crime Agency in 2019, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When the devices were analysed a laptop belonging to Kennedy was found to contain 154 indecent images of children and three videos in the most serious level A category, said Simon Gladwell, prosecuting.

A further 103 images in category B were discovered as well as  71 images and two videos in the lowest level C category.

The court also heard that Kennedy had applied for a job at Combs Ford Primary School, Stowmarket in November 2020 and was reported to police after one of his references – a school in Lincolnshire – said it had no record of him working there.

He didn’t get that job but had managed to get seven days’ employment with a teaching agency before the police investigation came to light. 

During his short time with the agency, Kennedy worked as a supply teaching assistant at a school in Ipswich which teaches children with disabilities and learning difficulties.

At an earlier hearing Kennedy, of Drury Close, Onehouse, admitted three charges of making indecent images of children and two of fraud by false representation.

In addition to being given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, Kennedy was given a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to take part in a sex offenders’ treatment programme.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

Sentencing him, Recorder Graham Huston said: “The overwhelming anxiety of the court is that you committed the frauds to be able to have access to vulnerable children in whom you had a sexual interest.”