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Suffolk ex-teacher caught with indecent child images for second time and animal porn

13:53 11 January 2016

Ex-teacher faces jail for second time

Ex-teacher faces jail for second time

A former teacher jailed for child pornography in 2005 is facing the prospect of prison again after being found with more indecent images.

Michael Higgins, of The Tye, Barking, near Stowmarket, admitted five charges of making indecent images of children when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

The 66-year-old also pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited image of a child and two charges of possessing extreme pornography involving a dog and a horse.

The offences occurred between May 20, 2014, and August 27 last year.

Prosecutor Lucy Miller said Higgins had a previous conviction for similar offences.

She told the court: “That’s how this came to light, because he was under an existing (court) order.”

District Judge Sandeep Kainth said he would be sending the matter to Ipswich Crown Court as his sentencing powers were insufficient.

He told Higgins: “There’s only going to be one sentence in your case and that is a custodial term.”

Higgins was released on conditional bail.

His sentencing will take place on a date to be fixed.

In 2005 Higgins was jailed for six years by Ipswich Crown Court after superimposing pupils’ faces on downloaded pornographic pictures.

Then living in The Street, Wattisfield, Higgins abused his position of trust as a teacher and unofficial photographer at Rosemary Musker High School, in Thetford, by making more than 15,000 indecent or pseudo images of 132 pupils between 1999 and January 2005.

He had previously pleaded guilty to 16 charges of making indecent pseudo photographs of children and one charge of distributing such material.

Sentencing him, Judge John Devaux said: “You have a long-standing sexual attraction to children. This is a very serious breach of trust and some of these victims have been very badly affected by what they have learned.”

Acquiring and sorting these images had become an obsession, although it was confined to fantasy and never led to assault, he added.

The judge passed an extended jail sentence on Higgins, four years custodial with two years extended on licence on each charge.

He banned Higgins from working with children for life, ordered the destruction of all the images and banned him from owning or using a camera or computer with internet access.

The court was told Higgins had created a website, which had never gone live, with images he had made.

Higgins was said to have been devastated that pupils knew what he had done and sought to apologise through his counsel Simon Spence.

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