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Primary teacher admits child porn charge

PUBLISHED: 19:24 30 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK primary school teacher Jonathan Bennett today pleaded guilty to viewing a total of 298 images of child porn including some on a school computer.

SUFFOLK primary school teacher Jonathan Bennett today pleaded guilty to viewing a total of 298 images of child porn including some on a school computer.

The 30-year-old was a teacher at a Beccles school when he committed the offences.

Prosecuting David Taylor said the images were at the lower end of the scale in terms of seriousness, but added the offence was aggravated by Bennett's position as a schoolteacher.

Two of the offences took place using computers at his school.

Bennett was traced by police after making a credit card subscription to a website which contained images of child pornography.

Police then searched his home and workplace seizing computer equipment.

Mr Taylor said Bennett, of Dennor Close, of Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire, had committed the offences out of curiosity and not for self gratification.

Meanwhile Edward Underwood, 63 of Bridgwater Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of making indecent photographs of children under 16.

Magistrates heard they included pictures of very young children and acts likely to cause physical damage to them.

The charges relate to incidents between January 1999 and December 2002. Prosecutor David Taylor said between 100 to 2,000 images were discovered by police. He told magistrates: "Once you see the images I hope you will agree with me that they are of a high level, involving very young children and sexual activity with the likelihood of physical harm to the children."

He added the images were recovered from deleted material and at interviews Underwood accepted he had subscribed to the website, downloaded a selection of images to his hard drive to look at, then deleted them.

The case was committed to Crown Court for sentencing and Underwood was told he would be made subject to an order under the Sexual Offenders Act.

Magistrates also heard of another case in which more than 1,000 images of child pornography were found on the computer of Suffolk man Paul Wynn.

The 24-year-old of Howe Road, Haverhill, pleaded guilty to 16 charges of taking indecent photographs of a child at South East Suffolk Magistrates today.

David Taylor, prosecuting, said the 16 charges, which occurred between October 2001 and December 2002, were just a "sample" of the total number of images found on Wynn's computer.

Wynn was traced after police received information about him from a credit card subscription he had made with a website. Police then searched his Haverhill home and seized computer equipment.

He was then arrested and shown the images. He accepted full responsibility for them.

Mr Taylor added the images were of the "higher level of seriousness".

Defending Jennifer Green admitted the images were serious but said Wynn's involvement in them was "exceptionally limited".

She said although Wynn looked at the images on his computer, there was no attempt to distribute, display or make money from them.

The images were discovered on the computer's hard drive but this does not mean they were saved, she added.

Magistrates were shown the images on a laptop computer by an investigating officer and decided it was not within their powers to sentence Wynn.

Bench chairman Peter Page said: "The quality and nature of the images involved in this matter are not within our powers to adjudicate."

Wynn was committed to crown court and was released on unconditional bail.

In a separate hearing Ipswich man Richard Sugden pleaded not guilty to 16 offences of taking indecent photographs of a child.

The 52-year-old, of Nottidge Road, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to deny the offences which are alleged to have taken place between February 2001 and October 2002.

He was released on unconditional bail and had his case adjourned until June 2 for a full file to be made.

In a separate case images of children with their hands and feet bound were among 3,000 photographs discovered on a Suffolk man's computer records.

William Moxham, 58, from Friar Close, Haverhill, admitted a string of 16 offences of downloading child porn, ranging from July 2002 to January 2003.

The case was committed to Crown Court for sentencing at a date to be decided. Moxham was released on unconditional bail and told he would be made subject to an order under the Sexual Offenders Act 1997.

Subscribing to a child porn website also landed another Suffolk man in court today.

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