October 2006

Pervert had access to cameras in washrooms

AN Internet pervert had access to monitors linked to cameras in the children’s washrooms at Culcheth High School.

Former caretaker Albert John Owen pleaded guilty in court to 13 child pornography charges last month.

Parents expressed their shock after it was revealed that the site manager, who worked at the school for nearly 10 years, was banned from working with children again.

A former member of staff and a parent of a Culcheth High pupil told the Warrington Guardian that there are cameras in all washrooms at the school.

She said: “The children have no privacy. You can see them in the caretaker’s office, I don’t think that is right because pupils can be getting changed in there.”

A spokesman for Warrington Borough Council said: “Cameras were originally put in in line with a number of schools in the area after a full consultation with parents.

“They are being taken out. They were in the washrooms rather than the toilets themselves and certainly not in the changing rooms.”

Owen, of St Helens, was given a suspended jail sentence after he pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to six counts of possession of indecent photographs of a child, five counts of making indecent photographs of a child and two counts of distributing indecent photographs of a child.

He has been disqualified from working with children, placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years and will serve a community sentence of supervision until December 2009.