October 2009

North Wales teacher escapes jail over child porn images

A MATHS teacher has been banned from working with children for five years after hundreds of indecent images of children were found on his computer.

Ian Patrick Gee, originally suspended from his job at Denbigh High School and now sacked, was yesterday spared jail, but must register  as a sex offender with the police for the next five years.

He was also placed on a three-year community order, with supervision, and he must pay £85 in costs.

Prosecutor Justin Espie told Mold magistrates Gee of Aber Crescent, Northop, had downloaded 171 indecent images of children on his computer at home.

They involved girls aged between six and 12 years old, either naked or in swimwear.

There were also 500 similar images which had been deleted.

On an earlier occasion he admitted one charge of possessing the pseudo images between September last year and September 8 this year – and five charges of making the images by downloading them from the internet.

Gee, 37,  was told at the previous hearing that he would not be sent to prison as the images were all of the least serious “level one” categories.

The married father of two  was supported in court by his wife, who was in tears during the hearing.

Gee was suspended from Denbigh High School last month after the allegations came to light.

 The court heard that police executed a search warrant under The Protection of Children Act at the defendant’s home address and seized various computers on the evening of September 10.

Interviewed at the police station, Gee agreed he was the only one who hadaccess to the computers and  he had downloaded images from various news groups.

He  said he thought the children were aged about 12 and he knew it was against the law to possess the pictures.

Mr Espie said the Sexual Offences Prevention  Order was necessary to protect the public from serious sexual harm.

At the time the defendant was a school teacher in a position of authority over children and the number of images showed a sustained interest in young children, he said.

“It is necessary to impose a SOPO to prevent other young children from serious harm in the future,” he said.

Hannah Meredith-Jones, defending, said her client was a man of previous good character who had been in full time employment for 15 years. He was very remorseful and fully understood the impact on the children involved and the effect it would have on them.

Gee was a man of good character who had been a highly regarded mathematics teacher.

He admitted his guilty at the earliest opportunity. He had shown true remorse and victim empathy and had now lost his livelihood and the career he had devoted his life to, because of the offences.

Denbighshire County Council has reassured parents that charges against Mr Gee were in connection with activities outside the school and there was absolutely no suggestion any criminal activity whatsoever during school time or on school premises.