Former Northamptonshire teacher pleads guilty to string of child abuse offences

Mark Willimott appeared at Kettering Magistrates' Court this morning
Mark Willimott appeared at Kettering Magistrates' Court this morning

A former teacher at a Northamptonshire school will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to a string of child abuse offences.

Mark Willimott, 41, appeared at Kettering Magistrates’ Court today (Wednesday) and spoke only to confirm his name and address and enter his plea.

He admitted all four charges facing him, including one count of making 30,546 indecent images of children, one count of making 773 indecent images of children, one count of distributing 128 indecent images, and one count of possession of an extreme image showing a sex act with an animal.

Willimott, of Ashford, Kent, was formerly vice-principal at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby but resigned after being arrested in August last year.

The court heard how police searched his house on August 6 and took numerous devices from him.

There is no suggestion that any of the offences took place at the school or relate to pupils there.

Brooke Weston Academy say they are appalled by Willimott’s conduct.

A statement from the school said: “Everyone at Brooke Weston Academy is greatly shocked and appalled by the conduct of former staff member Mark Willimott.

“We want to stress that the safety of students at the academy has and will always be our paramount concern and we have co-operated fully with the investigating officers.

“The police investigation has found no evidence to suggest that any of the activity took place using school equipment or involved any of our students.

“During Mr Willimott’s employment at Brooke Weston Academy there were no recorded complaints on his file.

“We are unable to comment any further while legal proceedings are ongoing.”

Willimott previously made the headlines in January 2013 after an email gaffe when he described plans for a fundraising pyjama day at the school as creating a possible “paedophile’s paradise”.

Willimott was granted conditional police bail and must not visit Brooke Weston Academy or contact any colleagues without prior arrangement.

He must also not make contact with anyone under the age of 18 without supervision.

He will appear at Northampton Crown Court on Friday, February 12 for sentencing.