Arbroath teacher escapes jail term for child porn

Dundee Sheriff Court. Picture: TSPL

Dundee Sheriff Court. Picture: TSPL

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A SENIOR teacher who amassed a library of more than 22,000 child pornography and bestiality images while running the computing department of a secondary school has avoided a jail term.

Roger Moult was principal of computing at Arbroath Academy and the chairman of a church organisation.

But the “hoarder” had a shameful secret.

Over a period of almost ten years, he downloaded 22,492 indecent images of children, and amassed 54 child-porn videos and a stash of “extreme porn” images of dogs and horses with women.

Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday heard that police were tipped off about Moult’s child-porn stash when his credit card information was flagged up after buying DVDs from a Canadian website.

It claimed to offer “naturist” videos but in fact supplied DVDs of naked children.

Procurator fiscal depute Kirsten Thomson said police raided his home in Montrose on 6 March last year and found porn in every room.

She said: “The house was extremely untidy and there was a large amount of pornographic material – magazines, DVDs and videos in every room. He was informed of the ­nature of the inquiry and was detained. A total of 25 computer devices were seized and evidential material was found on each.

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“A total of 22,492 images were recovered with 22,450 of those being at level one on the scale, depicting erotic posing.”

The prosecutor said a handful of the images were at the top level of the scale – while a total of 35 bestiality images and 17 extreme videos were found.

Moult, 64, pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing child porn and extreme pornographic material between 2005 and 2014. Defence solicitor Nick Markowski said Moult had retired from Arbroath Academy in 2012.

He said: “His career was without any difficulty whatsoever – he’s managed to keep separate his public life from his private difficulties.

“He’s asked me to publicly apologise and knows he was wrong.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a three-year community payback order with supervision and ordered Moult to take in a sex offenders’ “groupwork” programme.

Moult will be on the sex offenders’ register for the duration of the order.

The sheriff said: “Whilst accessing this material you put boundaries in place so that although you had as a teacher easy access to children, there’s no reason to suppose that you ever abused that trust.

“There’s no reason to suppose you were anything other than exemplary in your conduct towards children whether at school or in other contexts.

“Each photo depicts serious abuse of the child depicted and those who download this sort of material create a demand for it.”

Moult was the former secretary of Montrose Churches ­Together and recently researched the unknown First World War heroes of Edzell United Free Church as part of a university dissertation.

The results of his work had gone on show last year at the Angus archives centre in the Hunter Library, at Restenneth, near Forfar.

Angus Council confirmed the former department head had not worked for the local authority since 2012.

Vice-convener of children and learning Lynne Devine said that procedures were in place to prevent anyone accessing indecent images or videos in schools.

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