April 2013

Supply teacher banned from schools over indecent images


A SUPPLY teacher who taught at several primary schools in York has been banned from ever working in the classroom again after he fantasised about abuse and downloaded indecent sexual images of children.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said he had “very grave reservations” about how Martin Kenneth Almond’s secret life would have developed had police not discovered his activities.

Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, told York Crown Court Almond had 58 indecent pictures of children on his home computer and got sexual satisfaction by discussing with another school teacher through an internet chat service how they would abuse youngsters.

Andrew Semple, defending, said Almond had a record of 21 years hard work as a teacher and had performed good works in his church. He was ashamed of his actions.

The judge told Almond: “It is perfectly clear that whatever your background of good work in the past, there should not come a time when you should be allowed to teach children again.”

Almond, 48, formerly of Carnot Street, off Leeman Road in York, and now living in Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to six offences of downloading child sexual images and was given a community order with three years’ supervision and a sex offender treatment programme and was banned permanently from working with children.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register and his use of the internet restricted and supervised, all for five years. Mr Mitcheson said all but one of the images were at the lowest level of child sexual images.

Roger Thompson, chair of York Safeguarding Children Board, said: “It is very disappointing that cases such as this arise but I am reassured that agencies in York continue to be alert to issues of child protection and act in a coordinated and decisive way. Sentencing is rightly a matter for the courts but I am delighted that this man will never be able to work with children again.’ City of York Council, which runs York’s primary schools, has yet to comment.

• The second teacher, Simon Mark Knowles, 52, formerly of Harrogate, was sentenced to four and a half years in jail for more serious offences involving child sexual images and voyeurism.