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A former teacher has been jailed for four years and ten months after pleading guilty to 22 child sex offences.
Jamie Alexander Wheeler, 32, previously of Riccall near Selby, but now of Kippax, Leeds, pleaded guilty earlier this year to possessing a paedophile manual, three counts of making (downloading) indecent images of children, six counts of sexual touching, eight counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, two counts of taking an indecent photo of a child and two counts of meeting a child to engage in a sexual act.
His offending was discovered when a colleague reported concerns after seeing inappropriate images on the desktop of his laptop.
During his arrest, officers seized 33 electronic devices including laptops, phones and memory sticks. Forensic examination of the devices revealed over 26,000 indecent images of children including 4,721 category A images, which are the most serious and depict the worst kind of abuse.
Officers also discovered a paedophile manual that went into detail about how to groom children in the lead up to abusing them sexually.
Wheeler was sentenced at York Crown Court on 16 May 2023, and also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and given a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Claire Hudson of York and Selby CID, said: “The images found on Wheeler’s devices depicted sickening and very distressing images of children being abused.
“Behind every image is a terrified child that has suffered in the worst possible way. By downloading these images he has helped fuel the horrific trade in child sexual abuse images, re-victimising every child in those photos and videos.
“While we did not identify any evidence that he was directly involved in the worst kind of sexual offending, we did identify direct offences of sexual touching and other grooming offences to which he thankfully pleaded guilty and spared the victims the trauma of giving evidence at court.
“When his offending was discovered, we worked with our partner agencies to ensure immediate safeguarding measures were put in place, including his suspension from his job and conditions imposed to prevent any contact with any children.
“I hope Wheeler uses his time in prison to take make use of the help available to prevent re-offending in the future.”
If you are a victim of abuse, please do not suffer in silence. You can report it through any of the following methods:
Get help if you are concerned about your own thoughts towards children
If you are concerned about your own thoughts, feelings and behaviour towards children, you can get help and support from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. Find out more about their Stop It Now campaign here Stop It Now! UK and Ireland | Preventing child sexual abuse