April 2018

Former headteacher convicted over indecent images of children

A former private school headteacher has been convicted of possessing indecent images of children.

David Michael Ruaux, who ran Rivington Park independent school, which closed three years ago, searched the internet for indecent images of children.

Bolton Crown Court heard how he downloaded a total of 215 pictures, including 38 images belonging in the most serious Category A, involving children as young aged four.

Married father-of-two Ruaux, aged 52, sat with his head in his hands in the dock as Roger Brown, prosecuting, read out descriptions of the images to Judge Timothy Stead.

Mr Brown told how the offences came to light after police from the sexual crime unit raided Ruaux’s home in Gresley Avenue, Horwich, at 7am on July 20 last year.

They seized several computers and, on two laptops, found 38 Category A indecent images of children, 11 Category B images and 166 Category C images.

Ruaux, aged 52, had been searching four websites which bore titles including the word ‘pre-teens’ and two websites containing ‘Lolita’ in the titles, between July 6 and 17 last year

When interviewed by police on February 1, Ruaux admitted he had viewed the child sexual abuse images and subsequently pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.

Ruaux founded Rivington Park School in 2004, teaching children between the ages of three and 16, but it fell into financial difficulties and, in 2015, it closed, leaving parents of 35 children to find them alternative places.

Sentencing Ruaux to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, Judge Stead said: “Any parent, whether the current parent of a child or in the past will, inevitably, worry about what has happened.”

But had added that there is nothing to suggest Ruaux had done anything other than view the child pornography, which he did not share with anyone else.

Describing the offending as “truly vile”, Judge Stead told Ruaux that he had brought “great shame” on himself and others who have done nothing wrong.

In addition to the suspended prison sentence Ruaux was ordered to participate in 30 days of rehabilitation activities, pay £340 towards prosecution costs and a £140 victim surcharge.

An indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order was made and Ruaux was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.