Febuary 2012

Ex-Plymouth teacher with child porn is not sent to jail

POLICE who raided a Plymouth teacher’s home found hundreds of images of child pornography and eight of extreme adult pornography, a court heard.

But former Plymstock School science teacher Alan Beer, pictured right, has not been jailed because a judge wants him to undergo intensive sex offender therapy to stop him re-offending.

Prosecutor Alistair Verheijen told Plymouth Crown Court that police raided Beer’s then home at Stangray Avenue, Ford Park, on September 6 last year.

Beer, 50, was not at home but his wife was.

Officers seized a computer and a laptop, returning two days later to arrest Beer.

Mr Verheijen said Beer had made “full and frank” admissions, saying he used file-sharing technology and searched the internet for indecent photos of children under a certain age.

He said he had committed no contact offences, and had never abused a child in his care.

On his laptop, Beer – who admitted a seven-year interest in child porn – had 292 thumbnail images, all deleted.

On his computer tower were 104 images at level one, 16 at level two, 134 at level three, 204 at level four and 35 at level 5, level one being the least serious and level five the most serious.

The computer also contained eight images of extreme adult pornography.

Beer later pleaded guilty to 11 counts of making indecent images of children and two of possessing extreme images.

Deni Mathews, for Beer, said his client did not share images with others.

“He had lost his career and all that he had professionally, and has moved to a different part of the country,” he said.

“This has had a deep impact on his family.”

Mr Mathews said Beer “never crossed the line” between looking at pictures and abusing children in his care.

Recorder Andrew Langdon QC said Beer, now of Whitby in North Yorkshire, said Beer’s career was over and he would be barred forever from working with children.

He said that as well as the children abused to produce the images, children taught by Beer would be indirectly affected.

“Your pupils will regard their experiences of being taught by you in a different light,” he said.

He said that Beer had been unusually candid with police, his wife supported him and he had previously done a great deal of good in society.

He imposed a nine-month jail term suspended for two years and ordered Beer to attend an individual sex offender treatment programme as part of a two-year supervision requirement.

He also ordered him to attend a 12-week group programme, imposed a 10-year sexual offences prevention order and ordered Beer to remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.