Teacher jailed for downloading thousands of child porn images

First published in News

A SCIENCE teacher has been jailed for downloading more than 9,000 child porn images.

Father-of-two Andrew Ward, who was a teacher at Canon Slade, had a catalogue of cartoons within instruction manuals detailing how to abuse youngsters as well as “extreme images” of adults with animals.

He was also said to have trawled Bebo, a social networking site, for images of girls and saved pictures of a number of girls in their school uniforms and swimming costumes.

His searches extended to the Japanese version of Google, where he entered words related to torture, rape and bondage.

Bolton Crown Court heard the 46-year-old protected his computer with a password and used software to wipe searches in a bid to disguise his crimes.

But he was caught when a police investigation discovered that a computer at his address had been used to download a video of a child being abused.

Police raided his former home in Crompton Road, Lostock, on November 30 last year, where they found 9,802 images, including 97 videos.

Ninety-nine level five images — the most serious — were found, 641 level four, 838 level three, 286 level two and 4,366 level one.

Ward was immediately suspended from his job at the Bradshaw school, where he worked as a physics teacher.

He was yesterday jailed for 12 months, banned from working with children indefinitely and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Ward was also banned from accessing the internet, keeping computer storage devices without informing the police or deleting any digital images.

He entered no comment during police interview but pleaded guilty to all 12 charges at his first court appearance. He had no previous convictions.

Andrew Costello, defending, said: “He is disgusted by his actions.

“He has thrown away everything he has achieved and jeopardised his relationship with his two children and immediate family.”

Judge Nicholas Clarke was shown letters from Ward’s shocked former colleagues and people who knew him through church. Sentencing Ward, he said: “These are child sex abuse images — each image is a very real crime in which victims have suffered appalling abuse.

“They will suffer emotional and psychological harm knowing they have been filmed or photographed during the act.”

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