April 2019

Lollipop man spared jail after possessing indecent images of kids

An Ipswich lollipop man who secretly filmed a member of staff in a school’s disabled toilets with a mobile phone and who possessed indecent images of children has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Sentencing 49-year-old Peter Thompson at Ipswich Crown Court Judge David Pugh said the offence had involved planning.

Thompson, of Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, admitted voyeurism and four charges of making indecent photographs of children.

He was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for 24 months and ordered to attend a sex offenders’ treatment programme.

He was also given a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement, 180 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £250 compensation to the victim of the voyeurism offence.

Thompson was also given a sexual harm prevention order for seven years and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

Daniel Taylor, prosecuting said the offences happened in March last year, while Thompson was working as a lollipop man at a school in Ipswich.

On March 27 staff noticed that a mobile phone was recording from the pocket of a jacket belonging to Thompson which was hanging in the disabled toilets.

The phone was taken to the staff office and Thompson was told about the discovery of the phone and asked to leave the school premises.

When the phone was checked it was found to contain footage of a staff member using the toilet facilities.

As a result of the discovery Thompson was arrested by police in the Waitrose store in Ipswich town centre where he was also working at the time, said Mr Taylor.

He made full admissions to officers and expressed remorse and shame for his behaviour.

Following his arrest police seized electrical devices from his home and discovered 13 indecent pictures of children in the most serious level A category, 21 in category B, 29 in category C and a category A video.

Hugh Vass, for Thompson, accepted the filming in the toilet was a serious case of voyeurism.

He said his client had lost his job as a lollipop man and his employment at Waitrose as a result of the offences.

Mr Vass said Thompson was a registered carer for his wife.

February 2019

Lollipop man had child sexual abuse images

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 sexual 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.

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.

“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.