Former Suffolk teacher downloaded thousands of indecent child images
- Credit: Archant
A former teacher from Suffolk has received a two year suspended sentence after more than 2,000 indecent images of children were found on his laptop and hard drive following a police raid.
Andrew Matthews, 46, of Darby Road, Beccles, had pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent photographs/pseudo photographs of a child and one charge of attempting to arrange the sexual exploitation of a child before his sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court.
The court heard that Matthews had been chatting to a man over Skype, in December 2016, he believed lived in Gambia.
Prosecuting, Nicola May said: “There was a discussion about how a child could be persuaded to pose for naked pictures.”
In one conversation Matthews said that he would pay for an apartment and offered to come out to the Gambia.
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The court heard one message said: “If I come, I could meet one.”
After an indecent image of a child was posted to the chatroom on June 12, 2017, police traced Matthews’ IP address and conducted a raid on his home the next day, discovering a laptop and hard drive containing thousands of indecent images of children.
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The court heard they contained six category A still images and one category A moving image – the most serious category. Police also unearthed 66 category B still images, one category B moving image and 2,143 category C still images The pictures were downloaded between February 2012 and June 2017.
In mitigation, the court heard Matthews had been in contact with The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity dedicated to preventing sexual abuse of children, to seek help to change his ways.
Sentencing Matthews, Judge Martyn Levett said he was concerned the 46-year-old had suggested taking “the next step”.
“To me this is beginning to sound like a person with all the hallmarks of a recidivist with an insatiable desire for sexual images of children,” he said.
“I have come to the conclusion that you have a interest of a sexual nature in young children and you do have a clear intention to obtain more and more images for your own sexual gratification.”
Judge Levett also handed Matthews a 50-day sexual rehabilitation requirement and put him under a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.