July 2002

Teacher avoids prison despite child pictures

A TEACHER who downloaded indecent pictures of young girls on his home computer yesterday avoided jail.

But Durham Crown Court was told the offences cost Martin Andre Pauc his job, his good name and his standing in the community.

Pauc, 56, who is married to a teacher, was given a three-year community rehabilitation order and told to contribute £2,069 towards his defence costs.

He must sign the sex offenders’ register for five years, but Judge Esmund Faulks said as he was not given a prison sentence of at least a year he could not be banned from working with children.

Judge Faulks said: “I’m concerned this demonstrates an unhealthy sexual interest in young children.

“If I had the power to have disqualified Mr Pauc from working with children I would have done so, but the current legislation does not enable me to do that as I haven’t passed a sentence of more than 12-months.”

Pauc, a teacher at Grange Park Primary School, Sunderland, for 14 years, previously admitted two offences of making, and three of possessing indecent images of a child.

The court was told all were images of unidentified semi-naked girls aged as young as nine, downloaded onto hard drive or Zip disks on computer at his home in Elliott Close, Penshaw, near Sunderland.

John Evans, prosecuting, said concern was raised by a parent over material on an email from Pauc, found on their family computer.

No charges arose from that investigation, but police visited his home and seized his computer equipment.

“When asked about his use of the computer he reluctantly accepted he had been accessing images like this over a period of time, his interests being the beauty of the girls involved rather than a sexual interest in them,” said Mr Evans.

Robin Patton, mitigating, said: “These indecent photographs do not show children being victim of indecent sexual acts in any way, or posing in indecent ways.

“They are simply under age children and he accepted that as a teacher of many years it’s the end of his career.”

A Sunderland City Council spokeswoman said last night that as the case is now resolved the school governors will discuss the employment status of Pauc, who has been suspended since the offences came to light.