A man who collected indecent images of children has been banned for life from teaching

A FORMER teacher who collected thousands of indecent images of children on the internet has been banned from working in the profession.

Jonathan Alexander Briggs was found guilty of downloading the footage during a hearing before County Durham and Darlington magistrates in October 2019.

He was later given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, handed down by Durham Crown Court in November 2019.

The court heard it followed a targeted police visit to his home in April of that year, during which a number of computing devices were seized and removed for examination.

Briggs’ efforts to conceal his interest in this material, featuring children as young as four being sexually abused by adults, including the use of encrypted files for which reviewers needed special software to access them .

It was found that in the previous four and a half years he had uploaded 1,325 offending images, 436 of which were in the most serious category, 244 of which were emotional, as well as six images featuring scenes of bestiality.

The court heard all were still accessible and it was clear some had been seen multiple times.

Experts have discovered the use of a browser capable of hiding Internet activity and a virtual private software network that preserves the anonymity of the user.

The defendant admitted to downloading the images, while intoxicated, for several years, but there was no evidence of sharing.

Via peer-to-peer software, however, the dialogue between Briggs and another man revealed what Judge James Adkin described as “a somewhat flippant attitude.”

Briggs, then 34, of Edward Avenue, Bowburn, admitted three counts of fabricating indecent images of children and one of possession of extreme pornography.

As a mitigation, the court heard he was of good character and made an immediate confession.

When sentencing Briggs, the judge told her, “You lost your job and you will never work with children again.

“Your reputation is in tatters with your friends and family.”

He ordered Briggs to undergo a sex offender rehabilitation program and attend 30 days of supervised activities on probation, while the former math teacher was subject to registration as a sex offender and to restrictions under a sexual abuse prevention order, both for ten years.

Read more: A teacher uploaded images of abused children

His case was presented to a professional conduct committee of the Education Regulatory Agency last week.

It was staged in his absence, as it was agreed that he had received sufficient notice from the hearing.

The panel concluded that he demonstrated “little or no insight into his actions and lacked contrition”, and that his conduct was “deliberate, calculated and purposeful”.

He therefore agreed that it was “in the public interest” to recommend his lifetime ban from teaching.

The recommendation was accepted by the office of Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, who agreed to an indefinite ban on teaching in any school, sixth form college, young people‘s accommodation or children’s home, in England.

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