A Rugby man has lost his job at a school where he had worked for 10 years after the police found indecent images of children on his home computer.
Raymond Curtis, aged 49, had originally denied downloading the images, showing girls no older than ten years old, but later called the police to admit being responsible.
Curtis of Bucknill Crescent, Rugby, then pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children.
At Warwick Crown Court he was given a 12-month community order, with a rehabilitation activity for 25 days, and ordered to register as a sex offender for five years and to pay £100 costs.
Prosecutor Aimee Parkes said the police had received information about indecent images of children being downloaded at an address in Rugby, and went to Curtis’s home in June.
They spoke to Curtis, his wife and children, but ‘no-one was forthcoming’ with information about who was responsible. So the officers seized the family’s computer tower and a laptop owned by one of the children.
Nothing was found on the laptop, but on the tower they found 25 indecent images of children, including videos, of which some had been deleted but others were still accessible.
They included a category A image - the most serious category - of a girl.
And Judge Anthony Potter observed that the descriptions of the images indicated that none of the girls appeared to be older than 10, with one of them being as young as four.
When Curtis was first questioned he denied downloading or viewing the images – but contacted the police at the beginning of July to admit being responsible.
He said he was going through ‘a bad patch’ with his wife, and denied having any sexual interest in children, adding that he ‘never wants to see a computer again,’ added Miss Parkes.
Marcus Harry, defending, said: “Mr Curtis is deeply remorseful for his behaviour, remorseful for the children who had been abused, and for the impact it’s had on his family.”
He said Curtis had worked at a school for 10 years, and stressed that there was no allegation of anything other than his downloading of images from the internet.
“This was offending of a very limited nature over a period of five to six weeks.”
Mr Harry added that Curtis had lost his job as a result of the offences, and had not applied for another job pending the outcome of the court case.
Judge Potter told Curtis: “It might be that yours is a salutary tale for anyone like you who may be tempted into searching for and viewing images of children being abused.
“As a result of your deliberate decisions to look for child abuse and to download software to enable you to do that, you have had the police attend your home, and you’ve had them effectively interview a number of your children.
“You have had the family computer taken away, you have been interviewed by the police on two occasions, and had to make a call to them telling them you lied to them initially.
“You have had to tell your wife and eldest children what you did, and it will undoubtedly have had real ramifications for your relationship with them.
“And you have had to tell your employers about what you have done, and you have lost your job. There’s no good time to lose a job, but I’m sure that just before Christmas is the worst possible time.
“I believe you deliberately went looking for these images. You were able to distance yourself in your action from what was actually going on, because you were viewing the abuse over a computer. You may now begin to appreciate what was going on."