Former teacher could be jailed for child abuse images

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A FORMER teacher is facing jail after being caught with dozens of child abuse images on his computer.

Thomas Copeland today (Wednesday, December 5) pleaded guilty to 16 charges relating to the discovery of the photographs.

Copeland will return to Teesside Crown Court to be sentenced next month after reports have been prepared.

His barrister, Brian Russell, said the 29-year-old needs to be seen by a counsellor and probation worker.

Copeland, of Hazelmere Close, Billingham, near Stockton, was given bail until his appearance on January 18.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, said: "That shouldn't lead you to the view that anything other than custody is likely."

Copeland previously worked as a technology teacher at Gillbrook Academy in South Bank, near Middlesbrough.

He pleaded guilty to 15 charges of making indecent photographs and one count of possessing 155 of them.

The images - some of them short film clips - were downloaded between July 2007 and February last year.

The court heard how they depicted boys and girls, some aged as young as six.

Copeland's bail conditions include him having no unsupervised contact with children aged under-16.

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