June 2003

Teacher viewed child porn at school

A former teacher from Suffolk who looked at more than 200 indecent images of children on school computers has been given a three-year rehabilitation order.

Jonathan Bennett, 31, of The Street in Bawdsey, had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing before Ipswich magistrates to 16 charges of making indecent photographs of children.

David Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that the charges related to a total of 298 images found on computers at Bennett’s home and at the school in Beccles, Suffolk, where he is no longer employed.

Giving Bennett the community rehabilitation order, presiding magistrate Vicky Sears said it was an “aggravated feature” that he had looked at the images while he was at school.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “No pupils were at risk, and the school and the authority had no knowledge of these offences or reason to have any knowledge until criminal investigations began, when all the appropriate steps were taken.”

Computer equipment at Bennett’s house and the school were searched when he was arrested as part of Operation Ore, the national crackdown on internet child pornography users.

Bennett was ordered on Monday to take part in a sex offenders’ programme and to see a probation officer.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.