February 2018

Ex-teacher at top Scottish school is jailed over child abuse images cache

AN ex-teacher at one of Scotland’s top private schools has been slammed by a judge for creating his own library of child abuse images

Craig Wood, who once worked at £11,000-a-year Hutcheson’s Grammar in Glasgow, forced his victims to expose themselves during webcam chats while recording the abuse.

So many youngsters fell victim to the 52-year-old that prosecutors were unable to say how many were involved.

Yesterday, at Paisley Sheriff Court, Wood was jailed for three years after admitting making “indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children”, possessing child porn and forcing children to expose themselves to him. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Sheriff Susan Sinclair said: “Over a period of two-and-a-half years you were able to contact females between the age of nine and 15, in the context of some form of web communication.

“In the course of which, you have exposed yourself to these children and created videos of this and their participation in it.”

She also said Wood had benefitted from his knowledge of the online activities of youngsters, gained through his job, adding: “You used this knowledge to target the groups concerned.

“There is no alternative but to impose a sentence of imprisonment.”

Wood, of Glenburn, Paisley, showed no emotion as he was led away in handcuffs to begin his jail term.

Hutchesons’, on Glasgow’s southside, counts Transport minister Humza Yousaf, TV star Carol Smillie and Radio 2 DJ Ken Bruce as former pupils.

A spokesman for the school said: “A member of staff was immediately suspended when we became aware of the criminal charges. He no longer works at the school.

“Police advised us that our pupils and staff have not been, and are not, at risk. All the relevant and required checks were carried out at his time of employment. These were satisfactory.”

January 2018

Scowling Paisley paedophile teacher abused kids using vile internet game

A Paisley maths teacher ordered youngsters to strip and sexually abuse themselves using a perverted online video game.

Craig Wood, 52, also downloaded and hoarded indecent images and films of children for more than two-and-half years until he was rumbled by child protection cops.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard that Wood, who previously worked at Paisley Grammar, convinced children to expose themselves to him by playing a game on the web.

The teacher, from Morvern Avenue, Glenburn, preyed on kids aged between 11 and 15 between August 2014 and February 2017, when he was arrested.

Yesterday, at a pre-trial hearing, the creep sat shame-faced in the dock as he pleaded guilty to charges of making indecent photographs by downloading them, possessing a quantity of illegal images, and forcing children to expose themselves to him during online discussions.

Fiscal depute Fiona Holligan told the court Child Protection Unit officers swooped at his address early on February 23 last year in possession of a warrant.

The raid took place while he was on the staff roll at Hutchesons’ Grammar School, in Glasgow – one of Scotland’s top private schools.

Officers acted after receiving intelligence that he was “in possession of indecent images of children”, had been “making indecent images” and he had been “using a game over the internet to communicate with children”.

She said: “Officers asked the accused if he was in possession of indecent images of children or was there any device in the property storing them, and he replied, ‘Not to my knowledge’.

“Officers, including members of the Child Protection Unit, searched the property and recovered a Seagate hard disk and a Hewlett Packard Pavilion tower PC from a bedroom and these items were taken away for forensic examination.

“He was informed these devices were being taken away and at this point he informed officers he felt suicidal and that his life was over.”

A forensic examination of the devices recovered 959 still and moving indecent images of children and varied across the three categories of classification.

Wood had also kept three movie files at category A — the worst level of child sex abuse, 26 at category B and more than 20 at category C.

The court heard youngsters had been invited to play a video game over the internet in which Wood would ask them to strip off their clothes and perform sex acts via a video camera.

He would prompt the youngsters with commands by pointing to various body parts on the splash screen, after which the children would carry out his instructions, culminating in his exposing himself to the youngsters via his own web camera.

The court heard the game was downloaded from a perverts’ website and featured a flashcard showing their different body parts, such as breasts, bottom or genitals.

Files found on Wood’s computer contained more than two hours of filmed footage depicting various youngsters sexually abusing themselves at his command.

Fiscal depute Fiona Holligan told the court: “The flash game involved participants who were 11 to 15-years-old, some of whom were 
female.

“They were filmed in the game exposing their underwear, then their genitals, front and back, then filmed performing sex acts on themselves, even involving penetration.

“They were listening to the voice of the accused, who was later identified as the male in the file.

“At the end of the game, he would expose himself to the participants.”

Sheriff Susan Sinclair told Wood: “I will defer sentence until the court obtains a Criminal Justice Social Work Report and a Pathways 
Report.

“You will be required to meet with social workers at various times over the next few weeks.

“The nature of the offences require you to be subject to notification under the Sex Offenders’ legislation.

“I will hear mitigation on your behalf at sentencing. All options remain open to the court.”

Wood will discover his fate when he appears for sentence on February 27.

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