A FORMER teacher from Monmouth avoided jail for possessing child abuse images.
David Hopkins, 72, of Chestnut Court, Wyesham in Monmouth, admitted the charge of being in possession of indecent images of children in the highest category.
On January 11, Gwent police raided his home and asked if he had any footage, which he said he did not have.
Emma Harris, prosecutor, said: “Police found USB drives which, when analyzed, contained 50 Category A still images and seven films and 167 Category C images.”
She added that investigations had determined that Hopkins had used some type of operating system that did not store data, meaning there was no trace of the footage on his laptop.
“He admitted that he looked at the footage and admitted that he looked at the Dark Web,” she said.
NO MORE NEWS:
Karl Williams, defending, said his client cooperated with police throughout the investigation.
He said: “He showed remorse in the interview. It is true that he did agree and fully admit that he gained excitement in the pictures, but denies being sexually attracted to the children themselves.
“It was naïve to think that if it was online and free, it was legal. He dissociated himself from the visualization of the material.
Judge Geraint Walters said: “The facts of the case are relatively straightforward. You’ve come on the police radar because they have the means to be able to detect who is accessing information like this.
“You led a productive life as a teacher before you retired. I find it very difficult that such a smart man would have thought for a minute that accessing images of children was anything but illegal.
He gave Hopkins a six-month suspended prison sentence for two years and ordered him to sign the sex offender register and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for seven years. He also has to take a 30-day rehab course and pay a fee of £ 320 and a supplement of £ 128.