Teaching assistant caught with indecent images lied on CV to get job

Walton appeared before Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Jacob Kennedy, 28, pleaded guilty at Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A teaching assistant has admitted possessing more than 300 indecent images of children and lying on his CV to obtain employment in Suffolk. 

Jacob Kennedy, 28, of Drury Close, Onehouse, near Stowmarket, was caught with a total of 328 indecent images and 5 videos after police seized devices belonging to him. 

Police received a referral from the National Crime Agency regarding a Dropbox account which was being used to upload indecent images of children, Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard. 

A Macbook Pro laptop was seized and was found to contain 154 indecent images of the most serious kind - category A - and three videos of that grade. 

Another 103 category B images were discovered along with 71 images and two videos graded at category C. 

Prosecutor Colette Harper also told the court how Kennedy had applied for a job with Combs Ford Primary School in Stowmarket in November 2020. 

But he was reported to police by the school after one of his references - a school in Lincolnshire - said they had no record of him ever being employed with them. 

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Kennedy did manage to gain seven days' employment with Breakthrough in Education - a teaching agency - before the police investigation came to light. 

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

Appearing in the dock at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday, Kennedy pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children and two counts of fraud by false representation. 

The court heard he had no previous convictions. 

Ruth Newman, managing director of Breakthrough in Education, said the agency was "shocked and saddened by the nature of the charges and the level of fraud carried out". 

She said his professional references checked out and the agency later found out Kennedy had used different CVs. 

"Jacob worked for us for a total of seven days and it wasn’t until he began working for us that the investigation came to light," she said. 

"One thing I can say is that now the police records have been updated this will alert any other future employers in this or a similar field. It provides the much needed layer of protection required for the future.

"Safeguarding is paramount and we fully support any action to protect children and young people. They are at the heart of all we do."

Hazel Simmons, headteacher at The Bridge School, said: "Jacob Kennedy was never employed by The Bridge School.

"He was placed on a supply basis via a high reputable agency for less than three days. He was never alone with pupils."

Magistrates committed sentence to the crown court and ordered a pre-sentence report from the Probation Service. 

Kennedy was granted unconditional bail ahead of his sentence at Ipswich Crown Court on a date to be fixed.