A former teacher in Northamptonshire who admitted sexually assaulting a young child has avoided a jail sentence.
Paul Spector, aged 50, worked as a supply teacher in the county.
The court heard that a complaint had been that he had touched a child inappropriately.
Northampton Crown Court heard Spector was arrested in May 2014 and his laptop computer was seized.
Analysis of the hard drive revealed he had downloaded 76 indecent images of children, including 37 of the most serious category A, 31 category B and eight category C.
Officers also found evidence that he had used search terms on Google to find indecent images of children.
Ben Gow, prosecuting, said Spector initially denied the offences against him and claimed the images must have been on his hard drive before he bought the computer.
Spector also denied sexually assaulting any children and claimed any contact had been unintentional.
But, on the day a trial was due to begin, Spector pleaded guilty to a count of sexually touching a girl aged under 13, common assault of a girl aged under 13 and a number of charges of making indecent images of children.
James Keeley, mitigating, said, as a result of the offences, his client had lost his career, was heavily in debt and his marriage had broken down.
Mr Keeley said: “He is determined that nothing like this will ever happen again.”
His honour Judge Rupert Mayo said Spector had committed a serious offence.
But, after reading a probation report which stated Spector had a “low” risk of reoffending, Judge Mayo decided against sending him to jail.
Spector, of Holbeach, Spalding, was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also given a two-year supervision programme and given a 10-year sex offenders’ order.
After he was sentenced, Spector said he appreciated how “fair” the judge had been in his case.
Detective Constable Spencer Bailey. He said: “I hope today’s court result helps bring some form of closure to the victims involved.
“Those who abuse children will be fully investigated and brought to justice regardless of their profession.
“Protecting children and reducing incidents of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a priority for Northamptonshire Police and Children’s Services and we are working hard to support victims and bring offenders to justice.
“Anybody with any concerns should call Northamptonshire Police on 101, or the Child Safeguarding Team on 0300 126 1000.”