Former classroom assistant jailed for possessing indecent child movies and images

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A former classroom assistant has been jailed for eight months for possessing indecent images and films of children.

Robert Souter, 25, of Dewsbury Road, Elland, worked at a number of schools in Calderdale, including Withinfields Primary School, Southowram; Bowling Green Primary School, Stainland; Copley Primary School and the Sticky Fingers Out of School Club.

He was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court earlier in the month and will have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next ten years.

He will also be subject to indefinite sexual harm prevention orders.

A statement sent to parents from the schools involved said: “This is obviously deeply distressing for parents and staff to come to terms with and we can appreciate how shocked and upset you will be by this news.

“We must stress that there was absolutely nothing in Mr Souter’s background DBS checks, references, or behaviours in school that arose any suspicions in any of the settings he worked in.

“All relevant personnel have been working closely with the Calderdale Safeguarding Board and West Yorkshire Police since the arrest of Mr Souter before Christmas.

“Most children in our school will probably not remember Mr Souter as he was with us for such a short time and worked with such a specific group of pupils.

“We ask that you deal with this information sensitively around your children so as to not cause any unnecessary distress for them.”

Stuart Smith, Calderdale Council’s director of children and young people’s services, said: “Calderdale Council takes the safeguarding of young people very seriously.

“We have a strong relationship with the Police and Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board and we all work together to thoroughly investigate any concerns raised.

“All of the schools and the out of school club which the offender worked in have robust procedures in place to protect children from harm, and there is no evidence in this case that any of the images relate to any children in these places, or indeed in Calderdale.”

He added that anyone concerned about the welfare of a child should call Calderdale Council via the Multi-Agency Screening Team 0n1422 393336 or the Emergency Duty Team on 01422 288000.