A former teacher from Corby who downloaded indecent images of children as young as four has been jailed.
Steven Newlands, 29, appeared before Northampton Crown Court on Friday (January 19) after pleading guilty to three counts of making indecent images.
An earlier court hearing heard how the National Crime Agency began investigating a chat room account called “scallylvr1”, used by Newlands, in November 2015.
Newlands, who lived in Liverpool having stopped being a teacher six months prior, asked the chat room if there were “any active peds [paedophiles]”.
A search warrant was later executed at his house in Corby when he moved to the town, where a laptop and two phones were seized.
Those devices were found to contain 15 category A images, 35 category B images and 142 category C images, category A being the most vile.
Some images involved children as young as four-years-old.
Newlands, of Rowlett Road, denied possessing any images when questioned and said he was in fact interested in paedophiles themselves.
After leaving his job in Liverpool he gained employment at a school in Wellingborough.
At an earlier court hearing, defence barrister Davide Corbino said Newlands was in a dark place having been bullied and was depressed but that he felt “shamed” by his actions.
He said: “He has the feeling of shame and regret for what he has done.
“He discussed [with me] hating himself and struggling to live with what he has done.”
Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Lucking said Newlands’ actions were a “serious breach of trust”.
She said: “But the most serious issue is that you were employed as a teacher and entrusted with the care of children.
“These offences are so serious that nothing other than an immediate custodial sentence will do.”
Newlands was jailed for 16 months.
He was also made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and made to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.
After the sentencing, an NSPCC spokesman said: “Newlands is every parent’s nightmare, responsible for the welfare of children by day while taking gratification from images depicting vile child sexual abuse by night.
“We must never forget that viewing indecent images is child abuse and behind every image is a vulnerable young victim who will need support to recover.
“He must now receive treatment while in prison as the right rehabilitation can help to lessen the risk offenders like Newlands pose in the future.
“The NSPCC is also calling on government, law enforcement and internet providers to commit resources and expertise to prevent this sickening material being published online in the first place.”
Anyone concerned about indecent images or the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC helpline for advice on 0808 800 500.