October 2011

Former Whitby High School caretaker found with indecent images of children on computer

A SCHOOL caretaker was caught with more than one hundred depraved videos of children.

Father-of-three William Gray, 67, formerly of Woodcote Avenue, Whitby, pleaded guilty to having a total of 169 indecent images and videos of children on his home computer at Chester Crown Court on Friday.

Gray, who resigned from his job as maintenance officer at Whitby High School following his arrest, admitted 16 counts of possessing indecent videos covering a period from September 20, 2009, to May 30, 2010.

They included six level one videos, five level two videos, 16 level three videos, 118 level four videos and 24 at the most extreme level five.

The children in the images were aged between one and 10.

Now living in Eccles, Manchester, Gray was arrested by police on June 24 last year, when he told officers: “I had a feeling this was coming.”

Martin McRobb, prosecuting, said: “The defendant accepted the material was for his sexual gratification. He told police he had sought counselling and suffered problems within his marriage.

“He said it was a ‘sickness’ in his mind.”

Adrian Evans, defending, said: “When he was a youngster he was taken into local authority care and around that time he was the victim of sexual abuse.”

The court heard that as soon as the offences came to light his wife left him and he has since had very little contact with his children – including an Army corporal son and another son who is a detective constable.

Mr Evans added: “He’s lost everything he’s worked for during his adult life. It’s clear that he has and is suffering from defective thinking skills.”

Judge Roger Dutton told Gray: “This having come to light has clearly had a devastating impact on you.

“Your wife left you, your children don’t want to know you, you lost your home and your job.

“Retirement doesn’t have a great deal of attraction to it in those circumstances.”

Gray was given a three-year community order requiring him to attend the Northumbria Sexual Offences course, during which time he will be supervised by probation.

An eight-year sexual offences prevention order also places strict restrictions on his use of the internet.

A destruction order was imposed on his computer and he was disqualified from working with children.

Gray must also sign on to the Sex Offenders Register for five years, reporting changes of name or address to the police.

A Cheshire West and Chester Council spokesman said: “Mr Gray resigned from his post as maintenance officer at Whitby High School immediately following his arrest.

“It must be made clear that this does not affect the school or any of the pupils in it.”