DCSIMG

Scottish teacher struck off for having child porn

Police had investigated the man who taught for almost 14 years in South Lanarkshire. Picture: Getty

Police had investigated the man who taught for almost 14 years in South Lanarkshire. Picture: Getty

  • by NEIL POORAN
 

A TEACHER has been struck off after indecent images of children were found on his computer.

A General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) hearing was told by a forensics expert there were 14 indecent images on computing studies teacher Ian Graham’s home computer, three of which were at the second most serious level.

Police had investigated Graham, who taught for almost 14 years at Strathaven Academy in South Lanarkshire, but prosecutors decided not to charge him.

Graham, from Airdrie, was not present or represented at the GTCS hearing in Edinburgh last month.

GTCS panel convener Donald MacKay said police had “received intelligence that someone using a particular internet protocol (IP) address had accessed a website displaying child pornography”. Mr MacKay added: “That IP address was traced back to the home of Mr Graham.”

During an interview with police, Graham had “sought to explain having viewed indecent images of children by the fact that he was a moderator on an adult pornographic website”.

Mr MacKay said: “The procurator-fiscal had determined not to proceed with a prosecution at that time.”

The panel heard evidence from Police Scotland computer forensics expert Robert Steer, who had examined computer equipment found at Graham’s home.

Mr Steer told the panel “in total, 14 ‘thumbnail’ sized confirmed indecent images of children were recovered, as well as evidence that [Graham] had searched for indecent images and videos of children.”

Three of the images were at level four on the scale of indecent images, the second-highest level, he said.

The forensics expert added that it was not “credible” that the images were downloaded 
accidentally.

He said: “The search terms identified as having been used were common among people with an interest in child pornography and were well known to law-enforcement agencies.”

His report had identified that the indecent images had been “actively searched for and downloaded”, the panel was told.

The teacher’s explanation of being a moderator on an adult pornography website did not explain this, Mr Steer said.

He added that there was no evidence Graham had distributed images himself.

A charge Graham possessed “indecent photographs and pseudo photographs of children” at his home between 2005 and 2011, and was therefore “unfit to teach”, was found proved at the hearing.

A South Lanarkshire council spokeswoman said Graham resigned in 2013, after he was “removed from the workplace”.

The Crown Office said it was not permitted to comment on why Graham was not charged.

 

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