Classroom assistant jailed over child porn stash

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A CLASSROOM assistant was today jailed for hoarding indecent images of children while he worked at a primary school where his mother taught.

Moray Kent Nicholson was sent to prison for 20 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

The 22-year-old from Edinburgh committed the offences while he was working at the city’s Corstorphine Primary.

 

Moray Kent Nicholson admitted the child pornography charge

 

His mother, Anne Kent, 51, was employed as a teacher at the school, where her son said he once dressed up as Santa for the children.

Parents today complained that they faced a “wall of silence” from the school and council when they tried to find out if Nicholson had beein the same classroom as their children.

At an earlier hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Nicholson admitted taking or making indecent images at the family home in Saughtonhall Drive, Murrayfield, Edinburgh between 24 July and 13 October 2010.

As well as sending him to prison, Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie QC gave Nicholson a 24-month “extended sentence” where he will be given supervision in the community.

Nicholson was led to the cells in handcuffs.

An earlier hearing was told that Nicholson’s six-week placement at the school ended when authorities became aware of the police investigation.

But his defence agent, Gavin Anderson, told the earlier hearing his client did not pose a threat to youngsters.

He said: “This is a case of a man from a good family. Mr Nicholson poses no threat to children.

“His actions were the result of his suffering ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder].

“They were done for the rush of doing something prohibited rather than sexual gratification.

“He knows he shouldn’t have done it.”

Parents with children at the school today complained that they were kept in the dark about which classrooms Nicholson was in, what his duties were, and what checks were made on him before he started work at the school.

One parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “You would expect things to be more robust.

“The wall of silence is speaking volumes. If they were up front there wouldn’t be a problem.

“There isn’t demonstration of any good practice.

“Is it going to take another tragedy for this to be taken seriously?”

The parent said the first anyone knew of the case was when was when details emerged in the press earlier this year.

Nicholson was in the school twice a week for six weeks, sometimes in his mother’s class.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Council insisted they had checked other references outwith the school before the classroom assistant was taken on.

“There was no special treatment at the school. He had his references checked and disclosure was done,” the spokeswoman said.

Nicholson passed the disclosure check as he had no criminal record at the time.

The spokeswoman said parents could contact the council individually to find out if their children were in Nicholson’s class.

She said his duties were of a general classroom assistant, and he was never alone with children.

Mike Rosendale, Edinburgh council’s head of schools, said: “Mr Nicholson participated in a work placement at Corstorphine Primary School for six weeks in 2010, although he did not have unsupervised access to pupils.

“We are aware of these very serious charges and would like to emphasise that they do not relate to his work placement.

“All necessary disclosure checks were carried out before his placement commenced.”

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