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Retired teacher had 12,000 indecent images
9:00am Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
A retired teacher caught with more than 12,000 child pornography images on his computer has been spared an immediate prison sentence.
Andrew Atack, 65, was traced after his user identity was revealed when 2,393 perverted images appeared on the website of an innocent company in Gloucestershire, Bradford Crown Court heard.
Police went to Atack’s home in Bridge End Yard, Settle, and seized his desktop and laptop computers.
The child porn images on them were almost all at level one, the least serious on the scale, but some were at the highest, level 5, the court was told on Tuesday.
Atack’s case was committed to the crown court by Skipton magistrates.
He pleaded guilty to 13 offences, ten of making indecent photos of a child, one of making an indecent movie of a child and two “roll up” charges to include the rest of the images.
Prosecutor Richard Davies said Atack was of previous good character. There was no suggestion that he distributed any of the images to others.
Atack’s solicitor advocate, Simon Hustler, said he downloaded images on four occasions, between May and November, 2010.
Atack was a highly intelligent man who had suffered from depression.
“He is not a toucher. It was a period he went through and he is deeply ashamed,” Mr Hustler said.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC sentenced Atack to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and a requirement to attend a sex offender treatment programme.
The judge said it was a “staggering” number of indecent images and the offences crossed the custody threshold.
But he told Atack: “The public will not be served by locking you up.”
Atack was also ordered to pay £1,000 towards the prosecution costs.
He must sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and the judge made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order without limit of time to control and monitor Atack’s use of computers.