An “excellent” teacher with “a dark side” hung his head as he was jailed for making 44,000 indecent images of children.
William Stansbury, 46, formerly of Stokebridge Maltings, Dock Street, Ipswich, resigned as assistant head of Ipswich School, a top independent school in Suffolk, after his arrest in August.
He received a 16-month prison sentence at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty to five offences relating to a period between April 2005 and August 2012.
Michael Crimp, prosecuting, told the court that most of the images and videos showed children aged 10 to 14.
They ranged between the least serious category, level one, to more than 800 in the most serious level four and five categories.
Mr Crimp said of Stansbury’s behaviour: “There was a compulsive element to it … the excitement of finding new material, in the sense that you are never satisfied with what you have got.”
But Steven Dyble, defending, told the court there was “no indication that his dark side manifested itself in his public life” and that there had never been any direct contact offence with any child.
Mr Dyble also said Stansbury, who now lives in Ferndown, Dorset, had shown genuine remorse, co-operated with police throughout and sought counselling.
He added that many of the images were duplicates, made when the computers were backed up by Stansbury.
But sentencing him, Judge John Devaux said that by looking at the images, many of the most serious of which formed part of video footage, “you contributed significantly to the exploitation and abuse of children”.
On top of his jail sentence, Stansbury’s computers will be destroyed, he was banned from working with children and has been made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order lasting 10 years.
He had been an assistant head co-curricular and marking at Ipswich School and had also toured with its choir. He was also one of the school’s hockey coaches