Guernsey ex-teacher guilty of sending indecent images

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image captionJason Simmonds was found guilty under Guernsey's telecommunication laws

A former Guernsey secondary school teacher has been found guilty of sending indecent images to two female students.

Jason Simmonds, 34, sent pictures of a sexual nature using social media platform Snapchat, Guernsey's Magistrates' Court heard.

Simmonds, of Summerfield Road, Vale, was found guilty under the local telecommunication laws.

He will return to the court for sentencing at the end of February.

'Forensic examiner's nightmare'

The court heard that Simmonds sent more than 20 pictures - the majority of a sexual nature - as well as numerous messages to the pupils.

This led to him being charged with sending intimate images of an indecent character, by means of the telecommunications network, to one victim between December 2018 and March 2020 and another between December 2019 and March 2020.

Judge Graeme McKerrell described the Snapchat app as "look and then lose", as it automatically deletes photos after a matter of seconds.

He added that "it was a forensic examiner's nightmare because they could neither prove nor disprove that the data existed".

Part of the evidence against Simmonds included similar photos recovered on his phone by police.

The judge said Simmonds had laid bare his personal and sexual life in the court chamber, but he could not be satisfied that the defendant did not send the images and found him guilty of the charges.

Ed Ashton, States of Guernsey's director of operations for Social Security, Education & Inclusion, said: "All staff in education are appointed into positions of utmost trust and we know that the vast majority take that responsibility incredibly seriously.

"On the very rare occasion when that trust is broken, everyone who works in education shares the same feeling of disappointment as the rest of the community.

"In this case, we took immediate action to dismiss the teacher concerned last year as, irrespective of the outcome of the criminal process, there was clear evidence of gross misconduct."