Perverted principal teacher jailed for 18 months
A disgraced principal teacher has been jailed for 18 months for filming young girls’ private parts at the primary school where he taught.
Depraved James Hughes, 54, used his phone and iPad to discreetly record pupils between June and October last year after taking them for out-of-class one-to-one lessons.
He instructed his young vicitms to stand on chairs and put their legs in the air while he recorded them under a desk at the Monklands school which cannot be named for legal reasons.
Twisted Hughes was only caught when three teenage girls, who were at the school on work experience, discovered him also filming them.
One of the girls snuck into his office to check his tablet device and subsequently blew the whistle on his appalling actions by reporting them to the headteacher.
By that time, Hughes had already taken at least 260 images and 79 recordings, which were discovered during a police raid on his Uddingston home.
Before sentencing Hughes yesterday, Sheriff Petra Collins said his actions included a “significant degree of manipulation and planning” and that an alternative to a custodial sentence was not an option.
Sheriff Collins told Hughes: “These offences occurred at a primary school which is a place where pupils should feel safe.
“A significant amount of manipulation and planning went into doing this and you abused your position of trust.
“They, and their family members, now have to work through the consequences of your behaviour.
“When I consider everything, I have no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence.
“This will be for a length of 18 months and you will be on the sex offenders register for 10 years.”
Hughes, who pleaded guilty in September to the two charges of voyeurism, sat expressionless throughout the hour long process yesterday, and kept his head bowed as he was taken away in cuffs.
A woman shouted “how do you sleep at night?” at Hughes as he was led past the busy public gallery.
Pervert primary teacher facing jail for filming girls’ private parts at school
A principal teacher has pleaded guilty to filming young girls’ private parts at the primary school where he worked.
James Hughes, 54, is facing prison after using his phone and iPad to record pupils after taking them for out-of-class one-to-one lessons
Hughes asked the youngsters to stand on chairs and put their legs in the air while he recorded them under a desk at the school which cannot be named for legal reasons.
He was only caught when three teenagers, who were at the school for work experience, discovered him filming them.
One of the girls found indecent photos of herself on his iPad after secretly making her way into his office and subsequently reported her discovery to the headteacher.
Police were contacted and a search of Hughes school office and his Uddingston home uncovered 260 images and 79 recordings on two devices.
Hughes appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court earlier today and admitted two charges of voyeurism under the Sexual Offences Scotland Act, by filming and photographing girls aged between eight and 15-years-old.
Before the hearing, defence counsel Gavin Anderson, advocate, made an unsuccessful submission to Sheriff Petra Collins for a gagging order to be placed on the press not to identify his client.
At the start of proceedings, fiscal depute Agnes Meek told the court: “He was their teacher and they trusted him.
“They were ashamed and embarrassed at what had happened. He was in a position of trust.”
Victim impact statements from some of the children were put before the sheriff by Ms Meek, and Sheriff Collins said she would welcome any further statements prior to sentence, but that none of the children were “under any pressure” to do so if they didn’t want to.
In mitigation, Gavin Anderson said: “This is clearly a concerning matter and at no time had he [Hughes] any desire to go to trial.
“It has always been his position to minimise the distress caused to the children.
“He has been under the care of a consultant psychiatrist for a number of years for what has been discovered to be bipolar disorder.”
Addressing Hughes, Sheriff Collins said: “You have to appreciate these were primary school children and this is an extremely serious matter and at the forefront of my mind is a custodial sentence.”
Sentence was deferred until next month and Hughes placed on the sex offenders’ register.
The teacher was suspended from his post when the allegations first came to light and is expected to be sacked at a disciplinary hearing this week.