Teacher jailed for possessing porn

A TEACHER from Market Weighton who had thousands of pornographic pictures of children on his computer has been jailed.

Andrew Dennis Atkinson, of Victor Charles Terrace, was a teacher at Barlby High School near Selby where he was trusted to give pastoral care to teenage girls, Recorder Mark Bury said.

But at home the 30-year-old spent his time fantasising sexually about girls aged 13 to 16 and viewing child and extreme pornography via the internet over a four-year period.

The judge told Atkinson at York Crown Court: “I can well imagine the consternation of your former pupils and their parents when they heard how you spent your leisure time.

“You have thrown away a promising career.

“Your fall from grace has been huge.”

Atkinson pleaded guilty to 20 charges of possessing child pornography and eight of possessing extreme pornography.

He was sentenced to six months in jail, put on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and made subject to a sexual offences prevention order that will restrict his use of the internet for seven years.

He is likely to be barred from ever working with children again. Atkinson was sacked as IT teacher immediately after he pleaded guilty. He had been suspended since his arrest in March 2010.

Prosecutor David Garnett said police raided Atkinson’s home as part of a Child Exploitation and Online Protection Squad investigation.

On his computer and hard drives they found 7,411 child porn pictures, 22 of which were hardcore, and ten child porn videos, of which two were hardcore. They also found six photos and six videos of extreme pornography. Most of the images were duplicates.

For Atkinson, Graham Parkin said his client had not saved any of the images and in many cases had not completely downloaded them. The court was told his actions had had a devastating effect on his wife and family, including them having to sell their house.

Mr Parkin said: “The only thing he can do is try to make sure there is no repeat of this behaviour in the future.”