School music teacher sentenced for more than 2,000 child abuse images
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A music teacher has been sentenced for possessing indecent images of children after an investigation by North Yorkshire Police.
Donal Donnelly, 58, who worked at a school in north-west Leeds, was found to have thousands of photographs on computer devices he owned.
While there was no evidence to suggest the offences involved children he taught, the images showed primary school-aged children, some estimated to be as young as six.
The offences came to light when Donnelly was being investigated for a separate offence, which did not result in prosecution.
The freelance music teacher from Bradford pleaded guilty and the case was sent to York Crown Court, where he was sentenced today.
He faced three counts of downloading a total of 2,000-plus indecent images of children. Several were classed as category A and B while the rest were category C – the lower of the three categories.
Donnelly was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and issue with a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order. He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work, he must undergo a rehabilitation course and was also ordered to pay costs of £425
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Nicky Wareham of Harrogate CID said: “This was a very concerning case, even more so considering Donnelly’s job which could mean regular, unsupervised access to dozens of children.
“While I would stress that the offences relate to images that were already in circulation, that doesn’t in any way detract from the gravity of this offence.
“Indecent images perpetuate child abuse and some of the photographs we encountered during the investigation were particularly disturbing.
“These investigations often take a lot of time, digital forensic analysis and meticulous police work. But every time we bring an offender to justice, we also reduce the demand for these images.”
If you are concerned about your own inapporpriate thoughts or behaviour, or the behaviour of anyone else, you can get confidential help and support from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation's Stop it Now campaign.