Lollipop man admits to setting up camera in school’s disabled toilets
A lollipop man has pleaded guilty to filming staff members changing in an Ipswich school’s disabled toilets - as well as possessing more than 60 child sex abuse images.
Peter Thompson, 48, of Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to one charge of voyeurism and four charges of making indecent photographs of a child when he appeared before Ipswich Magistrates on Tuesday, February 12.
Prosecuting, Lesla Small said the offences happened in March last year, while Thompson was working as a crossing patroller at a school in Ipswich.
She said on March 27, 2018, staff noticed that Thompson had been hanging his coat in the disabled toilets.
On further inspection, they realised his mobile phone was in the pocket, with the camera facing into the room.
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She said: “Staff say because it is a disabled toilet not only do members of staff have access to the facilities but children, disabled children and parents too.
“It is clear the camera was put in a position where the lens was clearly visible as to enable the recording that took place.
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“He has recorded a member of staff using the toilet facilities.”
Ms Small said as soon as staff found out, Thompson was hauled into a meeting and informed an investigation would be taking place.
They banned him from school grounds and alerted police.
When officers arrested Thompson a laptop and two memory cards were seized from his home.
Analysing the cards, police discovered 13 category A indecent pictures of children, 21 category B, 29 category C and a category A video.
Ms Small said on the way to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre, Thompson told police: “I know I have done something really stupid.”
She added on the morning of his arrest Thompson had tried to wipe the memory of his laptop.
When interviewed by detectives, Thompson admitted to voyeurism, saying he had also deleted a previous video he had made because he felt ‘guilty and ashamed’ and had ‘broken the trust of people he worked with’.
Presiding magistrate John Glover sent the case to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing.
Thompson was released on unconditional bail until his next court appearance and ordered to sign the sex offenders register.
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council, said: “The county council became aware of the allegations in March 2018.
“We immediately suspended the school crossing patrol officer while investigations were on going.
“We have continued to work with the police with their investigation and have provided support to the school.
“Our own safeguarding procedures have also been followed.”