Former College Teacher Sentenced

A former college vice-principal from Bournemouth has avoided jail after admitting downloading indecent images of children.

52 year old Chris Birkhead from Charminster has been given a 6 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He worked at Bournemouth and Poole College for seven years before becoming vice-principal at Weymouth College in 2009. He was then suspended in June 2011 when he was arrested.

The father of two appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court in October, pleading guilty to 20 charges of making indecent images. 

A spokesman from Bournemouth and Poole College said:

“As soon as the alleged offence was brought to our attention, we carried out a retrospective check on his IT equipment.

“There was no evidence that his college IT equipment had been used inappropriately.

“In line with the college’s stringent safeguarding policy, he had been CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked.”

New Weymouth College principal Liz Myles has said the whole thing has “deeply shocked” staff there.

She added:

“I’m keen to make sure people realise this case has no relation or connection to the quality of learning and experience we provide at the college.

“Some of the staff are deeply shocked. It’s a complete breach of trust from someone in a position of trust. The college has done all the things it should have been doing to safeguard students but this has made us particularly vigilant.”