January 2004

Child abuse images – physics teacher jailed

A former physics teacher at a private school in Cardiff has been jailed after being caught with almost 400 child porn images downloaded from the internet.

Sentencing Jonathan Summers to five months in prison on Wednesday, Bridgend magistrates Byron Butler spoke of his ‘disapproval and abhorrence’ at the offence.

“It leads to the dehumanising of adolescent and pre-adolescent children,” he said.

Some of the pornographic video clips downloaded by Summers had involved children as young as eight.

Summers, 33, a former teacher at Howell’s Girls School in Llandaff, admitted possessing child pornography but said he was looking for pictures of naked 16-year-old girls, but found pictures of young children instead.

He told police that the images of eight-year-old girls had made him “physically sick and ill”.

“I felt sick with myself and extremely embarrassed. I couldn’t believe what I had done,” Summers added.

The teacher, who admitted one charge of possessing and two of making indecent images, was arrested last summer at his parents’ home in Bridgend as part of Operation Ore, the international police crackdown on child porn

“This led to his computer and he was arrested on suspicion of downloading images from the internet involving child abuse,” said prosecutor Tudor Harris.

The court heard Summers kept the images on discs – a number of which were found under his bed – and then loaded them onto his laptop computer.

In all officers found 17 photographs and 19 video clips – each containing up to 20 images – downloaded from a paedophile website.

The offences first began in May 1999 after the teacher had split up with his long-term partner, the court heard.

Summers had resigned from his job at Howell’s as soon as he was arrested to “avoid embarrassing” the school.

Defence solicitor Anthony Williams told the court of the teacher’s ‘shame and regret’ at the “out of character” offences.

A psychiatrist had indicated Summers was suffering from “emotional loneliness”, he said.

The magistrates ordered Summers to register as a sex offender, and to go on a treatment programme after his release.