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Monday, 18 April 2011 (3014187)
Ex-headteacher addicted to child porn, back in jail
by Natasha Young

A FORMER top teacher, described as having “a very dark side” to his personality, was put behind bars for four years last Friday (April 15) after being caught distributing “abhorrent” child porn images.

Waterloo resident Robert Pearson, who is addicted to such images, began using seedy chat rooms just months after being released from a lengthy sentence for child porn and indecently assaulting a young girl.

Pearson, 60, was acting head of Campion RC High School, Everton, Liverpool, when he was caught the first time and jailed for five years nine months in 2003.

He was released in March, 2006 but by November that year, while on licence, using the internet pseudonym, Dark Star Man, he was distributing disgusting images involving boys aged five to seven being seriously abused.

Judge Mark Brown today ordered him to serve 17 months of his outstanding licence and jailed him for a further 31 months to run consecutively.

“It is clear that in respect of your professional life you worked extremely hard. At one stage you were appointed as head master and you devoted yourself to try and help and assist young people by furthering your education.

”However at the same time it is also clear that there is a very dark side to your personality. It is suggested by your wife that you have an addiction to child pornography.“

Judge Brown pointed out that while in jail Pearson, a father-of-two, had undertaken an extended sex offender treatment programme and after his release returned to his family and had been supervised by an offender manager.

But he then committed the serious offence of distributing 17 child porn images in the second most serious category to a man in the South of England.

”It is clear that as well as sending many other images to that person you received many images from that person. However those images that you sent have not been recovered and therefore it is a matter of speculation what they contained.“

Judge Brown said that he had viewed some of the images and generally they involved boys aged five to seven engaged in penetrative sexuality activity.

”They are abhorrent, thoroughly disgusting and one can imagine the terrible abuse that those young boys would have suffered in the making of these images. It is that factor which makes this sort of case so serious,“ he said.

He ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and imposed a life time Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning him from having encryption and wiping software on his computer and using internet chat rooms.

Pearson, of Oxford Road, Waterloo, had pleaded guilty to one offence of distribution and ten of making indecent images.

Michael Stephenson, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that Pearson's activities came to light while police were investigating a man in Surrey. His computer was seized and it was clear that he had received images from Dark Star Man.

Pearson had received 269 images and Pearson had sent him 434, of which 17 were recovered. Enquiries revealed the identity of Dark Star Man and police raided his home and seized his laptop and computer tower.

It was found that items had been deleted but a total of 180 images were found in all five categories of abuse, said Mr Stephenson. He was arrested in January 2009.

Andrew Downie, defending, said that Pearson accepted receiving images but after looking at them he deleted them. ”It is clear that he is making efforts to resist the temptation. He desperately wants to do something about it.“

He said his wife had written an impressive letter describing him as purposeful, professional, intelligent, articulate who had worked hard to provide for his family and had achieved professional success.

”It is astounding that at the centre of this is a darkness and it is something he describes as an addiction and his wife describes it as an addiction and the professionals he has come into contact with describe it as an addiction.“

Mr Downie said: ”A false sense of privacy allowed by a computer in a room disinhibits individuals and it clearly disinhibited him.“

He said seeds sown in his early life that lay behind his illegal activities and after leaving jail he succumbed to temptation.


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