A former teaching assistant who claimed to have had a interest in child porn for more than a decade has been jailed for 10 months.
Bradford Crown Court heard hat when police seized three computers from the West Yorkshire home of Garth Hall last year they discovered a large quantity of indecent images of children.
Judge John Potter told Hall that the images depicted the most appalling acts of child abuse and said the 53-year-old had a “deep-rooted interest” in viewing such material.
Details of Hall’s previous involvement with schools were referred to in court, but as part of his sentence Judge Potter banned him from seeking any future employment which may lead to working with children.
Hall, of Rochdale Road, Todmorden, will also have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next 10 years and the judge also imposed an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.
Hall, who had no previous convictions, admitted 11 charges relating to his possession of the indecent images and the court heard that there were so many on the three computer hard drives that only half of them had been analysed by the police.
During his police interview Hall said he had compiled some images in a “power point” so he could save disc space on his computer.
Prosecutor Richard Davies said Hall told police he did not know why he had kept the images or why he viewed child pornography.
Lawyer Mark Watterson, for Hall, said his client’s employment ceased in March last year when the police investigation began and the defendant acknowledged that any future employment would not be in the arena where he is teaching children.
“The defendant understands that this is a matter the court will take seriously”, conceded Mr Watterson.
“He accepts that the material will be held with the contempt that it deserves to be.”
Judge Potter highlighted the fact that Hall claimed to have been child porn material for 13 years and added:’’Quite rightly the community will be shocked that somebody such as you, having held employment within the community that you have, should engage in this type of material at this level.
“Potentially hundreds of thousands of images seen by a teaching assistant at a school over a 13-year period.
“You richly deserve to go to custody immediately and to custody you will go.”
Hall stood with his head bowed as Judge Potter told him that if he had been convicted after a trial he would have been jailed for 15 months, but his guilty pleas meant his sentence could be reduced by one third.