Former Mansfield Woodhouse teacher spared prison after being caught with sick videos of children
A former teacher from Mansfield Woodhouse has been spared prison after police raided his home and found indecent videos of children on a hard drive.
Fraser McDonald Smith appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday after admitting two counts of possession of indecent images at an earlier hearing.
He had last appeared before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on April 30 when a district judge had considered his offending so serious that he sent the case to crown court for sentencing.
Police raided McDonald Smith’s Edgehill Grove home in February last year where they recovered one Category A – the most extreme – video and five Category B videos from his mobile phone and a hard drive, the court was told.
The 64-year-old, who has a previous child porn offence dating back to 2005, admitted two counts of making an indecent image of a child when he appeared before the magistrates’ court at a hearing in March.
Prosecuting at today’s hearing, Tony Stanford said: “Police attended his home address on February 9 last year where he was informed that they were there because they suspected he had been talking to a 14-year-old on Grindr.
“He was asked if there was anything of concern on any of his electronic devices and he had replied, ‘yes, there probably was’.
Following his conviction in 2005 for 17 counts of making indecent images of children, McDonald Smith had been given a three-year community order with specialist supervision.
Mitigating, Denny Lau told the court that the images were downloaded onto a hard drive in 2015 and there was no evidence of offending since that date.
Previously, defence lawyers had said that McDonald Smith has a ‘porn addiction’ but said there was no evidence that he had actively been searching for indecent images of children.
Sentencing McDonald Smith to four months in prison, suspended for two years, Recorder William Harbage QC told him: “They were stored on your hard drive in 2015 and they relate to boys aged 12 to 15.
“These are a small number of illegal images, but it is not the first time you have offended in this way. In 2005 you were convicted of having a large number of similar images, but in 2015 you were back making illegal images of children again, and you kept them for five years.”
“You may never need to go to prison, unless you misbehave in the next two years - but the ball is very much in your court.”
McDonald was also given a sexual harm prevention order for an indefinite period – strictly limiting his access to the internet – and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the next seven years.
During the course of his suspended sentence, he must also complete a 90-day sex offenders’ group programme and complete five rehabilitation activity days under the supervision of the Probation Service.
McDonald Smith was also ordered to pay £500 in prosecution costs and the court ruled that the electronic equipment used in the offences should be forfeited and destroyed.