January 2010

Bristol teacher jailed for child porn collection

A teacher has been jailed for 10 months after downloading thousands of images of children being sexually abused – some as young as 18 months old.

Peter Willoughby taught maths and IT at Bristol Metropolitan College, Bristol Crown Court heard.

But before and after lessons he would be online, obtaining “depraved” photos for his sordid collection.

Willoughby, of Bourton Avenue, Patchway, pleaded guilty to 22 charges of making indecent images of children yesterday. The 59-year-old, who is the father of a police officer, was ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for 10 years.

He was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, banning him from using a computer to view any pornography.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, told the court police acting on information searched the teacher’s home and seized his computer equipment.

It had transpired that in 2007 he had visited an internet website and accessed indecent images of children.

Mr Posner said: “He searched for them. He found them, he kept them and he looked at them.”

The court heard Willoughby used a laptop provided by the school for his activities, as well as computers at his home, and obtained photos from June 12, 2006, to 45 minutes before police arrested him on February 18, 2009.

Some 146 of the images were categorised at the highest 4 and 5 levels, depicting child photos involving sadism and animals.

Willoughby worked at Bristol Metropolitan College – previously known as Whitefield Fishponds School and which became Bristol Metropolitan Academy last September – for five years.

He accepted downloading the pictures and film clips, and told police he was a confused man who suffered from depression.

Willoughby denied obtaining any sexual gratification, and expressed remorse and shame.

Matthew Comer, defending, said: “It’s difficult to underestimate the effect on Mr Willougby and his immediate family. He has been open with his wife and two children about these proceedings.”

Imposing sentence, the Recorder of Bristol Judge Neil Ford QC told Willoughby: “It’s unnecessary for me to go into details of these images, save to say they feature bondage, penetration and bestial behaviour, and the estimated ages are very young, from 18 months to 10 years. Those who access images of this depraved nature will go to prison.”

Bristol Metropolitan Academy principal Steve Taylor said: “We are aware a former employee of Whitefield Fishponds School and Bristol Metropolitan College, the predecessor schools of Bristol Metropolitan Academy, has been found guilty of offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. We can confirm that this individual has not been employed since April 2009.

“We can also confirm any charges or allegations faced by this individual do not involve actions while he was in the employ of the academy and do not involve any pupil of the academy or either of the predecessor schools.”

“The Academy has followed the appropriate procedures since being made aware of the allegations and has co-operated fully with the Police investigation.”