Dundee teacher jailed for sharing indecent images of children
- 15 November 2012
- From the section Tayside and Central Scotland
A Dundee teacher caught with a haul of thousands of indecent images and videos of children has been jailed for three and a half years.
Forfar Sheriff Court heard Angus McCormack had 7,600 images and over 10 hours of videos on his computer of children, mainly boys, being abused.
The 50-year-old admitted possessing the material and to distributing indecent photographs of children.
Sheriff Kevin Veal also placed him on the sex offenders register.
The court heard the IT teacher at Monifieth High School in Angus was taken from his classroom by police after they were tipped off that he had been downloading the images.
Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told the court that police went to the home on the outskirts of Dundee that McCormack shared with his wife of 26 years, where they seized his computer and a number of hard drives.
The court heard investigators discovered images involving infants and children aged up to 16, including material at the most serious level of the scale used by the courts.
They also found image logs from Skype showing that he had shared some of the files online with other sex offenders.
McCormack pleaded guilty on indictment to distributing indecent photographs of children at an address in Clayhills Gardens, Birkhill, on 8 October last year.
He further admitted that between 23 June and 22 October last year he downloaded indecent photographs of children.
Defence solicitor John Macdonald said McCormack started to download the images to "exorcise his demons" after he claimed he was sexually abused as a young boy.
He said: "He is clear that he derived no pleasure or arousal from viewing any images.
"The images were downloaded as a means to an end and as a vehicle for him to set up contact with persons whom he thought may be able to provide insight as to the guilt and burden which he carried as a result of the incident on him when he was a child."
But Sheriff Veal told McCormack, who has been sacked by Angus Council and suspended by the General Teaching Council, that parents of pupils at his school "will have been horrified to learn of his clandestine extracurricular activities".
He handed McCormack a six and a half year extended sentence, with three and a half years in jail and three on license, and placed him on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.
He said: "These offences are anything but victimless crimes, each photograph represents the serious abuse of the child depicted.
"Those who access this material must bear some degree of responsibility for the abuse by creating a demand for such depraved material.
"The accused has endured a very spectacular fall from grace, but imprisonment for a significant period is the only disposal which would command any level of public acceptance."