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2 March 2011, 14:54
A former teaching assistant from Peterborough, who downloaded thousands of indecent images, has been banned from working with children.
21 year old Leigh Ferreday from Woodston had a total of 6,748 images on computers at his home.
Detectives found more than 140 of them were at the most serious level after seizing a laptop and three computers on the 7th July last year.
After admitting four counts of making indecent images of children and three counts of possessing indecent images of children, Ferreday was given a four month prison sentence suspended for two years at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday.
During the hearing, the court heard that he had been downloading the images since he was 13 years old.
Ferreday has been disqualified from working with children, put on the sex offenders register, made the subject of a 10 year Sexual Offences Prevention Order, put on a sex offenders treatment programme and will be electronically tagged with a curfew for three months.
He has also been ordered to pay £625 costs.
Detective Sergeant Rich Oliver, who investigated the case, said: "We take all cases of this nature very seriously and, as soon as we realised the offender was in a position of trust in a school, acted quickly to search his home and seize his computers.
While there is no suggestion he went any further than looking at images online, this is not a victimless crime.
People should be warned that by downloading these kinds of images you face a knock on the door from the police.
You are mistaken if you think you are safe and secure downloading these images in the privacy of your home or workplace. It may be many months later, but we will catch up with you."