April 2021

Paedophile Doctor broke sexual harm prevention order

A “selfish” paedophile was caught giving online tutoring lessons to GCSE pupils in breach of a court order.

Dr Darren Thompson, from East Wittering, was ordered not to have contact with people under the age of 18 after being convicted for possessing indecent images of children.

He was banned from using computer equipment or phones without monitoring software.

But he was found giving tutorials to youngsters in breach of the order.

When police raided his home, they also found Thompson had hidden a mobile phone hidden in a toilet at his home.

He had also hidden another phone which was taped under a chair in his bedroom.

At Lewes Crown Court the 50-year-old admitted breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Beverley Cherrill, prosecuting, said the former academic had broken the rules in December last year.

He was in breach of orders imposed when he was given a suspended sentence for possession of indecent images in 2018, the court heard.

Ms Cherrill said there were screengrabs showing him giving tutorials to youngsters, which he was not allowed to do.

But the court heard that it was not alleged anything indecent took place on the Zoom meetings, as parents of the young people were also present.

Jason Halsey, defending, said Thompson was trying to “live a normal life” and therefore ignored the concerns the courts had about his previous conduct.

“There is no possible justification or excuses,” Mr Halsey said, adding that Thompson simply wanted to have a smart phone available to him.

His Honour Judge Mark Van Der Zwart said the sex offender could be spared a prison sentence because he had previously completed all the requirements of a suspended sentence.

Thompson, of Shawside Walk, East Wittering, was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and 30 rehabilitation sessions as part of a new suspended prison sentence.