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Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Teacher jailed for child porn offences
A 53-year-old teacher who had 50,000 indecent internet images of children has been jailed.

Richard Sugden, who taught at Suffolk College of Education in Ipswich admitted 15 specimen counts of downloading pornographic images.

He was jailed for 14 months at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday.

Judge John Devaux was told that 28 of the images stored on compact discs at Sugden's home were classed by the law as the most serious.

Offences of this nature are not victimless crimes. They perpetuate the continued abuse of children
Judge John Devaux
"Offences of this nature are not victimless crimes. They perpetuate the continued abuse of children," Judge Devaux said.

"They fuel a demand for young people who are abused in this way."

He made it clear that there was no suggestion that Sugden, a twice-divorced father of four, had abused or harmed children directly.

He also gave mathematics teacher Sugden credit for his guilty plea.

In a mitigating statement read out in court Sugden blamed the stress of losing contact with his children following two divorces, the break up of relationships and the pressure of work for his crimes.

'Temporary phenomenon'

He said he had hit rock bottom and treated pornography as a distraction. He was ashamed and embarrassed by the offences.

He said he regarded viewing of paedophiliac images as a temporary phenomenon and he had tried to filter out the worst images downloaded from the internet.

"I have devoted 18 years of my life to children aged 11 to 18, and spent the past 12 years in further education," he said.

He had never harmed a child either directly or indirectly.

The court heard that the specimen offences Sugden admitted occurred between February 2001 and October 2002.


SEE ALSO:
Child porn teacher avoids jail
23 Sep 03  |  Hampshire/Dorset
Trainee teacher jailed over child porn
29 Aug 03  |  Staffordshire



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