Waites, of Meoldy Way, Longlevens, was handed a three-year community order at Cheltenham Magistrates’ 

October 2010

Teacher had downloaded 24,000 indecent images

A secondary school teacher has admitted downloading more than 24,000 indecent images of children.

Andrew Waites, 53, spent six years downloading the images on to his home computer, Gloucester Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.

When police raided his home in Longlevens, Forest of Dean, they found 24,206 pictures of naked children aged eight to 15 on his computer.

There is no suggestion any of the children in the images were pupils at Pittville School in Cheltenham, where he was teaching at the time, although he was suspended following his arrest. Waites will be sentenced next month after he pleaded guilty to four charges of making indecent photographs of children.

The offences took place between October 2003 and November last year, the court heard. Prosecutor Sharon Green said: “The items were forensically examined and 91 CDs were taken. Thirty CDs were examined by the police and they have taken the decision to estimate the number, rather than have officers go through all of them.”

The prosecutor said the images were on the lower scale of seriousness, which rate from one, the lowest, to five, the most serious type of image.

Ms Green said: “Out of the 91 CDs, it was decided there would be about 24,206 images in total. The majority are Level One and a smaller number are Level Two.”

Magistrates were told the images showed naked children and naked children in provocative poses.