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12 January 2011, 15:35
A teacher who used a school laptop to look at indecent images of young girls while working at a school near Cambridge has avoided jail.
31 year old Gareth Hague, who now lives in Sheffield, was given the computer when he started work at Chesterton Community College back in April 2008.
During a random check by college officials seven months later, it was discovered he had accessed restricted websites.
Police were then called, officers seized the laptops and another computer at his home in Alex Wood Road in Cambridge.
Both machines were forensically examined, and officers found the images of children.
There were 99 pictures in total, 81 of which were the lowest level of seriousness.
The girls in the pictures were all said to be aged 13 or above.
Hague originally denied having looked at the pictures, however on the day of his trial at Cambridge Crown Court he admitted four counts of making indecent images of children, and a charge of possessing indecent photographs.
It was on the basis he had not intentionally saved or distributed them.
On Monday, Hague was given an eight week prison sentence suspended for two years.
He has also been disqualified from working with children, been given a two year supervision programme and must attend an internet sex offenders' course.
Finally, Hague must sign on to the sex offender's register for five years.
Detective Constable Tony Cox, who investigated, said: "Hague's behaviour was revealed when an IT security system flagged up that he had been accessing inappropriate websites.
The children he was looking at were of similar age to the pupils he was teaching at the school.
We take all crimes against children very seriously, especially when it involves a person in a position of responsibility.
Hague now has a prison sentence hanging over his head if he re-offends in the next two years."