South West Wales

Jeffrey Gravell guilty in 400,000 indecent child images case

A school IT manager has been found guilty of possessing and making nearly 400,000 indecent images of children.

Jeffrey Gravell, 54, had denied the charges after the images were found on computers at his home belonging to his employers Coedcae School in Llanelli.

Gravell, of Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, was told by the judge he faces an inevitable custodial term.

The schools said none of the images were of its pupils and its security to prevent such files was not breached.

Gravell was was also found guilty of theft. Sentencing at Swansea's Guildhall was adjourned.

The court had previously heard police had discovered 715 of the most serious level five images on the computers and CDs found at his home.

Gravell had argued the images could have entered the computers without his knowledge.

'No permission'

He said they could have been put in during back-up procedures involving large quantities of material from the school computer network.

Gravell told the jury he had regularly taken equipment home from the school to repair.

However, the court also heard from Coedcae School's former bursar Alan Williams, who said he had never given permission for Gravell to take school computers home.

Gravell's partner Helen Griffiths, 44, had a charge of handling stolen goods against her dropped, and was found not guilty of theft.

The judge was told Gravell had no previous convictions.

Sentencing has been adjourned so that reports, including a medical report, would be considered.

During the trial the jury heard that Gravell had a serious illness.

'Background checks'

In a statement, the school the said there is no known evidence that the images downloaded by Gravell involved any local children or Coedcae pupils.

Image caption Jeffrey Gravell and partner Helen Griffiths outside Swansea's Guildhall

It said the images were contained on computer equipment found at his home and no inappropriate material was located on computers within the school.

The statement read: "When the individual was employed by the local authority all appropriate background checks were undertaken, none of which identified any historical issues which would have made the individual unsuitable to work in a school environment.

"This issue has had no adverse impact upon the day-to-day operation of the school."

After the case, Dyfed-Powys Police Det Con Richard Davies said: "This is the largest single collection of indecent images of children I have ever come across - 715 of the worst category.

"During the investigation, I reached approximately 391,000 but then found I had to stop. There could well have been more.""

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