April 2017

Disgraced teacher downloaded indecent images of boys

A former teacher and scout leader from Rugby has escaped being jailed for downloading indecent images of young boys – because of the time he had already spent in custody.

Even though James Stuttard, of Meadow Furlong, had no previous convictions, he had been remanded in custody because he was considered to be ‘a flight risk’ after applying for a job abroad.

The 32 year-old teacher at Spratton Hall private school near Northampton until his arrest in January, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of making indecent images of children.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months, with 30 days of rehabilitation activity, and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.

The one-time scout leader in Rugby, who gained national newspaper coverage after introducing the ‘fitness activity badge’ for Beaver Scouts, was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones also made him subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for seven years, under which, among other restrictions, he is banned from doing any paid or voluntary work that brings him into contact with children.

Prosecutor Jason Pegg said Stuttard was a teacher and also took part in voluntary work as a scout leader, and was of previous good character.

But police became suspicious about his computer usage, and went to his home

When officers told him why they were there, Stuttard immediately volunteered there was a computer on the top floor of the house, and a laptop by his bed – and that both of them would have images of children on them.

He was arrested and cautioned, but answered ‘no comment’ to questions when he was interviewed, although he did provide the police with the necessary passwords to access the computers.

Hi-tech officers examined Stuttard’s two Apple laptops, a tablet, and SD card and a memory stick, all of which had images on them, predominantly of boys aged ten to 12.

Sentencing Stuttard, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: “You are still a young man, you are an intelligent man, and you can’t help the way you feel and the way you are made. But you can help the way you behave.

“As a consequence of what you have done, you have ruined an obvious career choice for yourself. You have got talents, and you will have to apply them to other purposes.

“The fact that you have been in custody for some time now enables me to take a course which doesn’t involve you serving any more.”