IT Teacher Held With Sickening Children Images Pleads Guilty

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An IT teacher from Leeds, who was caught with ‘disgusting and sickening’ images and videos of children getting sexually abused has pleaded guilty to charges against him. Mark Duckworth, the culprit, pleaded guilty to four offences of making indecent images of underage children. According court documents, the IT teacher took to the dark web and accessed child abuse images that were in the most serious offending category, with some of his victims as young as two.

Amongst his collection of indecent images and video collection was a video of a five-year-old being raped by a man. The IT teacher was accessing these sickening images from his family home in Leeds.  Duckworth’s dark web child pornography came to light after his IP address was flagged for accessing the dark web by Leeds police.

IT teacher

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The police executed a search warrant on his Hetton Road home in January 2019 and found the IT teacher desperately trying to access a dark web marketplace for child pornography, with his laptop. Officers however stated that, they were not sure if the porn he was accessing involved underage females. According to documents from the Leeds Crown Court, police officers, seized two laptop devices from the home of Duckworth.

The laptops seized were ‘fitted with cleaning equipment’ and after forensic analysis, evidence that the IT teacher had been using the dark web to download child porn was found. Police uncovered 46 indecent images of children of which 29 of them fell in the most serious category, which involved the graphic sexual exploitation and abuse of children aged between two to 15 years.

Duckworth had also used the dark web to search for many indecent images of children getting sexually abused and had a program installed on his laptop to add to the anonymity the dark web provides. None of his students however was involved in his dark web the indecent images and video downloads.

Prosecutors told the Leeds Crown Court that, the IT teacher was working as a supply teacher before his arrest and has been in education for almost 40 years. Prosecutors also revealed that, Duckworth during interrogation, he denied any claim in offending or having a sexual interest in children. Judge Geoffrey Marson QC however stated that, it was a fabricated lie. Judge Mason stated that – You are just another predator who denies any sort of sexual interest in children’. I do not believe not even a single word of it .

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC also added that, for a 64-year-old man who worked so many years as a teacher and again as a supply teacher after his retirement, his actions were shameful. He noted that, the IT teacher had no prior convictions or any run ins with the law and that he lived a decent and honest and hard-working life.

IT teacher

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He continued by telling Duckworth that for some reasons which it is very difficult for him to understand, other than you having a sexual interest in children, he downloaded several images and videos which were vile and disgusting to view. “The agony to which those helpless children are subjected by perpetrators of these acts cannot adequately be described in words,” he added.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC also told Duckworth that he should be thoroughly ashamed of his behavior and that by downloading and viewing those vile images, the IT teacher in his own way contributed to the misery and degradation of his victims.

According to Martin Morrow, mitigating, Duckworth as a result of his arrest had lost his job and would no longer be able to work in education. Mr. Morrow stated that, the IT teacher had lost his ‘good character’ as he was clearly upset about his actions and behavior. Mr. Morrow also revealed that, Duckworth also accessed those vile images on the dark web after he had drunk alcohol and needed help with his drinking problem.

Duckworth was handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered by Judge Marson to register as a sex offender for ten years, attend 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement days coupled with 100 hours of unpaid work. Martin Morrow, after the sentence stated that, there had been no suggestion that any of the children Duckworth had worked with had been put at risk.

Duckworth had his wife by his side during the whole trial and vowed to attend a program to help with his sick obsession once his he avoided prison. His wife stated that, she was going to support him and make him a better version of himself.

Source: Leeds Live


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