A FORMER Blythe Bridge High School teacher has escaped jail despite downloading thousands of indecent images of children.
Paul Robertson, aged 32 of High Street, Silverdale, was working at Blythe Bridge High School when police raided his home in January.
Officers seized his computers and found thousands of indecent images of children.
But Robertson, who has since resigned from Blythe Bridge High School, has avoided a jail sentence.
Instead Judge Paul Glenn felt the public would be better protected by him sentencing him to a lengthy community order.
Prosecutor Howard Searle, on Thursday, told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court police executed the search warrant at Robertson’s home on January 16 after receiving information.
Two laptops were found to contain 2,609 still images at level one; 202 at level two; 134 at level three with one moving image; 263 still images and one moving image at level four; and four still images at level five – the most serious. The children were aged three to 15 and the images were accessed between August 2011 and January this year. Robertson was released on bail and interviewed for the second time on June 27 when he made full admissions.
He said he started misusing adult pornography and then began viewing child pornography.
He accepted he did it for his own personal sexual gratification.
Robertson pleaded guilty to seven offences of making indecent photographs of children and one charge of possessing an extreme pornographic image.
Judge Glenn sentenced Robertson to a three-year community order with supervision with a requirement to complete the community sex offenders group work programme or internet sex offending group work programme and 100 hours unpaid work.
He will be on the sex offenders’ register for five years and was banned from a range of activities involving children and vulnerable adults. Judge Glenn told Robertson: “You taught 11 to 16-yearolds.
But I make it plain there is absolutely no suggestion you have behaved inappropriately towards any of those pupils. If there was, be under no illusions, you would be going straight to prison.
“You told the police you were addicted to pornography for many years and you accept you got sexual gratification from both adult and child pornography.” Judge Glenn said if he sent Robertson to prison he would be released in a few weeks, unsupervised and without any formal treatment. He added: “The risk you represent is far better managed by making a community order.” Robertson must also pay £150 costs.