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Teacher caught with 2500 indecent images of children struck off

Published January 17, 2013 by misty534

A secondary teacher has been banned from the profession after being caught with almost 2500 indecent images of children on his computer.

Peter McFarlane was previously placed on the sex offenders register after he was convicted of the offence at Airdrie Sheriff Court last year.

The former history teacher at Cumbernauld High School was struck off by the General Teaching Council for Scotland this week over the offence.

Mr McFarlane was also found to have breached the standards of his profession with a previous criminal conviction, after he slashed the tyres and seats of a car with a knife in Glenboig, North Lanarkshire, in August 2010.

The 48-year-old was convicted of driving while more than twice the drink drive limit during the earlier offence.

In its findings, the teaching watchdog noted that Mr McFarlane had appealed against his conviction in respect of the indecent images offence, but the move had been refused.

The council’s fitness to teach panel stated: “The offences in respect of which the respondent has been convicted are serious and demonstrate that the respondent’s conduct has fallen significantly short of the standards expected of a teacher.”

It added: “The panel was of the view that the respondent’s convictions (in particular the conviction for possessing indecent photographs of children) demonstrate conduct that is fundamentally incompatible with being a registered teacher and the nature of the respondent’s conduct means that the Respondent is unfit to teach.”

Mr McFarlane did not attend the council hearing in Edinburgh on Wednesday, while he has 14 days in which to lodge an appeal against the decision to remove him from the teaching register.

Chippenham IT manager jailed for having indecent images of children

Published January 14, 2013 by misty534

IT manager Russell Morgan, who distributed indecent images of children over the internet, has been jailed for 16 months.

The father-of-two shared the pictures with ‘like minded’ people after engaging in disgusting online conversations in chat rooms.

The 57-year-old , of Curlew Drive, Chippenham, then sent packages of vile images of child sex abuse to three people.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that Morgan was caught after police in north Wales were investigating a man for child sex abuse.

She said it became clear that he had been corresponding with a computer registered to the defendant.

Online chat showed they had been talking about pictures of children and activities with them, the court was told.

As a result of what they recovered the police raided Morgan’s home, and a number of computers and storage media were seized.

Officer not only found 523 indecent images of children stored in files but also vast quantities of chat logs on Google Hello about ‘paedophilia’ and child abuse.

They also found that on three occasions in 2006 he sent packages of pictures of child abuse to people he had been corresponding with.

On the first he sent four low level images, then he twice sent a collection of 28 pictures, including some in the worst categories, to other users.

Miss Hingston said it was also found that he had put a series of vile terms into search engines as he sought out other images of abuse.

When he was questioned he initially denied knowing what Google Hello was, but largely accepted what was on the computers had been put there by him.

Morgan pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution, five of making and one of possessing indecent images of children.

Alex Daymond, defending, said that the amount of images recovered was not in the tens of thousands as the courts often see.

He said his client was a ‘regular but infrequent viewer’ of the material over a long period of time.

Mr Daymond said his client and society would be better served if he were to keep his liberty so he could go on a sex offenders programme to address his offending.

He said the offences represented Morgan’s first brush with the law.

Morgan, he said, hadn’t told his employers about the situation, and felt he would probably keep his job if he was not jailed.

Jailing him Judge Euan Ambrose said: “These distribution charges, especially of the level four and five images, are the most serious charges before the court.

“They involved the circulation of the images. It has to be observed that each of these images involved a real child suffering real sexual abuse.

“This is not some victimless crime: it is the possession and distribution of images of real children.

“Of course you were not the abuser but your activities and the activities of other people who behave in such a way encourage the abuse of children.”

As well as jailing him he imposed a sexual offence prevention order restricting his liberty, told him he must register as a sex offender for ten years and his name would be on the barred list from working with children.

Horden man jailed for 11 years for sex offences with girls

Published December 18, 2012 by misty534

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By Bruce Unwin – Court reporter 

A MAN who sexually abused two underage girls, raping one of them, was yesterday jailed for 11 years.

Keith Lee was described by a judge as a “predatory paedophile”, who preyed on “immature” girls.

Durham Crown Court heard that Lee only admitted the rape allegation on the day his trial was due to start, last month, causing his victims the anguish of having to prepare to be questioned and cross-examined before a jury.

The 53-year-old, from Wilkinson Road, Horden, County Durham, admitted five counts of sexual assault, one of sexual activity with a child, as well as the rape at the scheduled start of the trial on November 26.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said it came to light after he was caught taking part in sexual activity with one of the victims, in June.

Despite his pleas that it should not be reported to police, a complaint was made.

Mr Dodds told the court there was a suggestion that Lee gave the girls involved money, and neither wanted to take part in the activity.

Paul Cross, mitigating, said: “These were despicable offences and, nothing I can say will alter that fact.

“The defendant is aware he is facing a substantial amount of imprisionment.

“He’s a man of 53 who, before this, led a completely blameless and industrious life.

“He’s been a hard-working man and how he got himself into this situation is really difficult to pinpoint.

“He’s now not in the greatest of health.

“He’s a man finding his sexual function diminishing who took advantage of these girls.”

But having read Probation Service reports, Judge Christopher Prince said: “The fact is the man is a paedophile and he won’t accept it.”

Lee was made subject of a sexual offences prevention order, limiting contact with children and must register as a sex offender for life.