A TEACHER from Avening has lost his job, his home and his family after he was caught with child pornography on his computer, a court heard today.
Ross Mortlock, 35, of Cherington, near Avening was arrested as he arrived home on the day his new baby had just been born in hospital, Gloucester Crown Court was told.
He was found to have more than five hours of video of the worst Category A pornography showing sexual abuse of children on his computer as well as other less serious child pornography.
Mortlock pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children but denied that he had a sexual interest in them, his lawyer said.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC decided today to defer sentence on Mortlock for four months to see if he goes through with a 10 week sex offender course run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and then admits he had a sexual motive for the downloading.
“If he does all that I will not send him to prison and he can start his life again from scratch,” the judge said.
He told Mortlock “You have lost everything. You have lost your wife, you have lost your home and your job and you have lost your children.
“It is going to be very difficult for you to see them from now on in the normal way.
“I am not entirely surprised that you find it very difficult to admit what your real interest was in these video images.
“But you are going to discuss that and go through a course with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation after which you will have a much better understanding of why you did this terrible thing.”
Nick O’Brien, prosecuting, had told the court the downloading took place between 2009-2016 and was discovered when police raided his home and seized several computers.
There were 25 Category A videos, three Category B and one Category C. The running time of the worst A-class videos was five hours 20 minutes.
“He said he doesn’t have a sexual interest in children, only in adult women. He said he got no gratification from seeing these images,” said Mr O’Brien.
“But he said he looked at them to try to feel some emotion. I think his suggestion was that he was emotionally numb.”
Judge Tabor commented: “Any ordinary man seeing Category A videos would have emotions – he would be so angry he would throw something at the screen.”
Mr O’Brien said: “He was a schoolmaster in a school for vulnerable children with but he lost his job as soon as he was charged. He is now unemployed.
“He is a father of children. He has broken up with his wife and his children are with her.”
Claire Buckley, defending, said: “He has lost everything as a result of this. His job, his home, his family. He has a supportive mother and siblings but his marriage is completely over.
“He was arrested on the day his child was actually born. He returned home from hospital and was arrested.”
She said he had already signed up with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to get help.
He had also been helped by the mental health crisis team and had been heavily involved with them since his arrest.
Sentence was deferred till Monday, July 10.
The judge made a ten year sexual harm prevention order against Mortlock, who is now also required to sign the sex offender register.