April 2013

Ex-school official had thousands of child abuse images

Thousands of vile images of child sex abuse were found at the home of a former Axminster Community Primary School governor after he was traced through his links to a nationwide paedophile ring.

Trevor Poole, an ex-soldier, had extreme images on his computer.

He was sent on a sex offenders’ treatment course after a judge was told how his exposure as a paedophile had wrecked his life and his marriage.

Poole, formerly of Raymond’s Hill and now living in Weymouth, admitted 12 counts of making or possessing 2,500 indecent images of children.

He was made subject of a three-year community order, sent on a sex offenders’ programme and ordered to sign on to the sex offenders’ register by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge told him: “A police search of your home revealed more than 1,000 images.”

He said the pain and distress any victims must have suffered could only be imagined so that images of this nature could be distributed for sexual gratification.

Mr David Bowen, prosecuting, said around 2,500 images or movies were found when police raided his home, near Axminster.

He said: ”This case arose from a nationwide investigation into one internet site which involved child abuse images.

“It gave rise to the defendant being traced through his IP address and a warrant being executed at his home.

“He told the officers they would find images of children wearing nappies and that he did not have a sexual interest in children, but analysis of his equipment found to the contrary.

“There were images of children of both sexes aged between approximately three and 12 and a history of two-way web chat which showed him in contact with like-minded people.

“There were also fantasies in which he said he was a child abuser named Trevor.”

Mr Lee Christmas, defending, said Poole is a former army medic whose old colonel had come to court to give him a reference.

He said at the time he was a house husband while his wife worked but has now moved away from home and started his own building business.

He said: “He has lost everything, his home and his 21-year marriage.

“Since his arrest, he has referred himself for counselling and the probation report recommends treatment.”

A spokesman for the Devon education authority confirmed that Poole was a governor at Axminster Primary School from October 19, 2011 until he resigned on November 30, the same year.

Headmaster Tony Harvell told the Herald yesterday (Tuesday): “Mr Poole became a parent-governor but served for less than six weeks.

“His appointment was subject to all the usual vetting procedures, including an enhanced Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check.

“None of them indicated any cause for concern.”