Primary school deputy head admits watching child sexual abuse on the dark web | #childabuse | #children | #kids

A deputy headteacher at a primary school has admitted watching videos of child sexual abuse on the dark web.

Richard Swinnerton, 30, spent two years hiding his identity to view the abuse of minors on the internet before he was caught.

Swinnerton was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) at his home in May following an investigation.

He admitted his offences and later resigned from his job at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School in Acklam, Middlesborough.

The paedophile, from Coulby Newham, appeared at Teeside Magistrates’ Court on Monday and admitted three counts of possession of illegal images of children relating to category A (the most severe), category B and category C.

The court heard when officers arrested him they seized his laptop which contained 87 Category A videos of child abuse.

He will be sentenced at Teeside Crown Court at a later date.

The paedophile, from Middlesbrough, appeared at Teeside Magistrates’ Court, pictured, on Monday. (Google Maps)

Speaking after Swinnerton’s guilty pleas, the NCA said he used software to make himself anonymous on the dark web.

Police found no evidence to suggest that any of the images were made at the school and there was no allegation of physical abuse.

NCA operations manager Julie Booker said: “Swinnerton had gone to considerable lengths… to commit his offences and thought he was anonymous on the dark web.

“Offenders who view child sexual abuse are contributing to ever more children being abused and condemning them to years of extreme trauma and suffering.

“Every child in an abuse image is re-victimised when the photograph is viewed or shared.

“Protecting children from sexual abuse and stopping paedophiles is a top priority for the NCA.”

The deputy headteacher admitted watching videos of child sexual abuse on the dark web. (Getty)

After the hearing, a St Clare’s school spokesperson said: “This has been an upsetting matter for parents, carers, staff and the wider St Clare’s community.

“We are grateful for the support we have received from them and we continue to assure them that the wellbeing and safety of children of St Clare’s remains our priority at all times.

“It is also important to reiterate that this former employee’s offences were not in connection with his employment at the school.”

St Clare’s headteacher Elizabeth Eddies told Teeside Live in July: “I wish to assure all parents that the wellbeing and safety of children at St Clare’s remains of paramount importance.

“These charges do not relate to his employment at the school.”

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