January 2007

No jail for second child abuse images offences

A former deputy headteacher caught downloading child abuse images from the Internet for a second time has again escaped an immediate jail term.

Ian Skillings was still subject to a community order imposed nearly three years ago for similar offences when police seized his computer following a tip-off from his ex-wife, Stafford Crown Court heard.

From it was recovered seven movie clips and 77 damaged indecent images of children which he had deleted.

Skillings, 49, formerly of Sorrell Close, Uttoxeter, and now of High Street, Tutbury, admitted 10 charges of making indecent images of children. He was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Judge Michael Dudley told him: “It is clear you were doing extremely well under the previous order. It would be very easy for me to send you immediately to prison, but although it would punish you, I don’t think it is in the best interests of society.”

Along with the suspended sentence, Skillings was banned from accessing the Internet by any means and ordered to register as a sex offender for a further 10 years.

The court heard that Skillings, then living at Yarnfield, near Stone, had previously been convicted of downloading child porn and in February, 2004, was given a three-year rehabilitation order.

Skillings initially denied any further wrongdoing, but owned up in September. He said he had been drunk at the time.

Stephen Redmond, defending, said Skillings had been doing all the “right things” in connection with his previous order, including informing the authorities of his relationship with a woman in North Wales. The police went to see this lady to give her some advice.

“As a result, she ended this relationship. The defendant took it very badly. He became extremely down and depressed. He got onto the Internet and as if almost motivated by some sort of self-destruction, started looking at these images. That is how he behaved on this one drunken night.”

Mr Redmond said the following morning Skillings erased all the images.