Cambridgeshire

Chair of governors guilty of possessing indecent images

Andrew Brown Image copyright PAPERPIX.UK
Image caption Andrew Brown was a former chair of governors at Peterborough's King's School

A former school governor has been found guilty of possessing hundreds of indecent images of children - some as young as three.

Andrew Brown, 61, of Montague Road, Peterborough, claimed the material had been planted on his computer by a burglar.

However, a court was told, forensic analysis of Brown's devices uncovered a total of 718 indecent images - which pre-dated the October 2015 break-in.

Brown will be sentenced next month.

Brown, who denied all the charges, was chair of governors at Peterborough's King's School before his arrest.

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Peterborough Crown Court heard that on 24 October, 2015, Brown and his wife returned home to find that three USB memory sticks, a laptop, £300 cash and mobile phones had been stolen.

Four days later, Brown received a letter claiming the devices contained indecent images. Included was a demand for £8,000 cash in return for his silence, the court was told.

Brown's crimes were revealed when he contacted police over the blackmail claim, and denied any knowledge of the images, claiming the burglar had planted them on an earlier visit.

The court heard that a police forensic analysis of Brown's computer revealed 600 still and 118 moving images, 170 of which were graded category A - the most severe.

He was arrested in November 2015 - and the following April was charged with three counts of possessing indecent images of a child, two counts of making indecent images of a child, two counts of possessing extreme pornographic imagery and one count of possessing prohibited images of a child.

Det Sgt James Weston described the case as "complicated" because of Brown's "position of trust".

"His denial throughout the investigation regarding the possession of indecent images of children and extreme, prohibited images resulted in extensive digital forensic investigation work and analysis," he said.

"We remain committed to safeguarding the most vulnerable and will take positive action to protect those at risk of significant harm."

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