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A ''perfect teacher with a dark side'' who worked at an independent school in Suffolk has been jailed after admitting possessing more than 40,000 pornographic images of children.
William Stansbury, who was assistant head at Ipswich School until his arrest in August last year, admitted five offences of making indecent videos and photographs of children aged between 10 and 14 at Ipswich Crown Court.
The 46-year-old, who was living in Ipswich at the time but now of Glenmoor Road, West Parley, Ferndown, Dorset, hung his head as sentence was passed.
Prosecutor Michael Crimp said Stansbury had been driven by the ''excitement of finding new material and was never satisfied with what he had got''.
He added: ''He seemed to be able to perform very satisfactorily in the real world where he worked with young people and disassociated that from what he was doing.''
The images, which included more than 800 in the two most graphic categories, were found when police raided his home and seized a desktop computer, laptop and external hard-drives.
Stansbury resigned immediately from his assistant head teacher job, which he had recently been promoted to, the court heard.
Steven Dyble, mitigating, handed the court references from community leaders, parents and children who knew Stansbury.
He said: ''To the outside world he was a perfect teacher but he harboured a darker side.
''A great career as a teacher has ended.
''But he never contemplated any form of sexual contact with a child in real life.
''He had the opportunity, if he so wished, to go down that road but he didn't.''
Jailing him for 16 months, Judge John Devaux said it was clear Stansbury had been regarded as a ''kind and honourable'' man by those who knew him.
But he added: ''You have contributed significantly to the sexual exploitation and abuse of children by viewing these images.''
He banned Stansbury from working with children and made a sexual offences prevention order lasting 10 years.
Nicholas Weaver, headmaster of Ipswich School, said:
''We were obviously very shocked and saddened by this case regarding a former employee.
''Throughout the investigation we worked closely with the police and Suffolk Safeguarding, who confirmed that we acted entirely appropriately under the circumstances, and we were able to reassure our parents that no Ipswich School students were involved.''