Theatre school teacher caught with child porn

Court News.
Court News.

An Upper Caldecote man who ran a theatre school for children was caught with indecent videos and images on his laptop.

Simon Green, 38, and his wife, taught youngsters aged between 10 and 18 at the Starlight Theatre group, Hitchin.

But, Luton crown court heard on Friday, they have lost their jobs following a police raid on their home on October 1.

Prosecutor Tim Clark said officers investigating child sex abuse images found an IP address that was linked to the couple’s home through Peer to Peer software.

They obtained a warrant and seized a laptop and a computer tower. When the HP laptop was examined the police found 29 Level A videos, the most serious category. There were 23 at Level B and four at Level C. There were also seven Level C images. No indecent images were discovered on the computer tower, but search phrases indicating an interest in children were found.

Green was arrested and initially made no comment, but when he was told that his wife would also be arrested he agreed to be interviewed. He said he was ashamed of himself, that he had no sexual interest in children, but he confessed to looking at indecent images since 2009.

Green, of Biggleswade Road, Upper Caldecote, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one charge of possessing indecent images of children and 5 of making (downloading) indecent images of children.

Defending, Henry Day, said Green was of previous good character. He had a BA degree in Performing Arts. His wife, of 15 years, was standing by him, he said.

The couple ran the theatre company but have now lost their jobs as a result of his conviction and may have to sell their home.

He said that Green was remorseful and had sought counselling from the NHS. His wife, a nephew and a parent of one of his pupils had written c character references for the judge.

Judge Richard Foster told Green: “What you have to realise is that this type of offending involves real victims.

“These children are abused for the sexual gratification of the likes of you. By accessing this material you are creating a market for that abuse and degradation.”

He passed a six month jail sentence suspended for 12 months with 12 months’ supervision so that he can be given professional psychological help.

He also ordered Green to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work. He must pay £340 costs and sign the Sex Offender Register for five years.

Green will be subjected to a five year Sexual Offences Prevention Order. The police will install specialist risk management software on any computers and phone he has to prevent him accessing illegal material.

The judge told him: “You are very lucky to be leaving court by the front door.”