December 2018

Former Shropshire teaching assistant get two years over indecent child images

A former Shropshire teaching assistant used an alias to trick students into sending him indecent images, a court heard.

Matthew Corbett, 40, was sentenced to two years in prison at Shrewsbury Crown Court after pleading guilty to seven counts of making indecent images of children and one charge of paying for sexual services between June 2015 and July 2016.

After leaving his position at a Shropshire school in 2016, Corbett began contacting former pupils on Facebook.

Corbett, of Ford Road, Newport, told a number of girls that they should pursue a career in modelling and gave them an email address for a fake modelling scout.

Sati Ruck, prosecuting, said he told one girl he would pay her between £5 and £10 for pictures in either her underwear or swimwear.

The 15-year-old dreamt of becoming a model so decided to send the images and he paid her about £80.

Ms Ruck added: “The defendant was interviewed on three occasions. The first time he admitted to working at the school and receiving friend requests from male and female students when he left.

“He told police he sent her about £100 and that made him happy as he knew she needed the money.

“He said he cared for the students and thought this was his way of caring for them financially.”

Ms Ruck told the court he had also received images to the fake modelling scout account from another student.

During the investigation, Corbett was found to have 23 category A still images – the most serious – on his computer and one moving image, 13 category B images and one moving image, and 1,923 category C images.

Judge Peter Barrie said: “You had been a teaching assistant and got to know this girl and some of her friends through having pastoral responsibility.

“You were trusted as a teaching assistant to put their welfare first. You persuaded this girl to think that it might be a good idea to send intimate images of herself to a website you told her about and that it was someone who might help her towards a career in modelling. It was a trick.”

He sentenced Corbett to two years in prison on Friday.

“I also want to add that downloading images is not a victimless offence,” he added.