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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Teacher jailed for child porn
Plymouth Crown Court
Plymouth court was told Mr Hodge lead two separate lives
A primary school teacher found with nearly 2,000 indecent images of young children has been jailed for two years.

Michael Hodge downloaded internet pictures of children forced into sex acts, Plymouth Crown Court was told.

Police found the images on two computers, 111 floppy disks and a school-owned laptop when they searched the 27-year-old's home in December, said prosecutor Jason Beal.

Mr Hodge, from Plymouth, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to six specimen charges of making indecent photographs of children between October 2000 and December 2002.

You were teaching young girls of the very age of the children pictured in those indecent and depraved images which you possessed
Judge Francis Gilbert QC

"What is particularly troubling about these offences is that at the time you were a teacher in primary school, teaching young girls of the very age of the children pictured in those indecent and depraved images which you possessed," said Judge Francis Gilbert QC.

Analysis of the seized computers showed Mr Hodge had visited thousands of internet child porn sites over a three-year period.

He spent Christmas Day last year transferring 145 pictures from floppy disks to his school-owned laptop, Mr Beal said.

Mr Hodge resigned from Lipson Vale Primary School in the city after his arrest.

Introverted man

Ali Rafati, defending, described Hodge as an introverted man with little sexual experience.

He said Mr Hodge, unable to suppress his growing interest in child pornography, had led a double life.

"There followed two completely separate lives. This life of respectability by day, going to school being a teacher and a mentor.

"And the other one when he was on his own in the world of cyber space," Mr Rafati said.

Mr Hodge's interest in child porn never affected his work in primary school, the court was told.

"There is no suggestion at all from the school, from his family or from any of the children at the school that any behaviour towards them was anything other than completely professional," Mr Rafati said.

Judge Gilbert ordered Mr Hodge, who was of previous good character, to register on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

He also disqualified him from working with children for life.

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