A DISGRACED teacher’s life is in ruins today after he was jailed for downloading pictures of young children.

Wrexham high school teacher Kieran Vincent Maye, 34, was yesterday locked up for possessing more than 8,000 indecent images of children, some as young as four.

And Judge Philip Hughes banned him from working with children indefinitely.

Mold Crown Court heard the alarm was raised by his girlfriend, also a teacher at
Ysgol Clywedog in Ruthin Road, Wrexham, who came across some of the child photographs on his laptop while he was away on a school trip.

Maye, deputy head of maths at the school, had admitted at the town’s magistrates’ court 16 charges of downloading and possessing 8,487 indecent images.

He was committed for sentence at Mold Crown Court where he was jailed for 10 months yesterday and ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for a decade. 

Judge Hughes also made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) to curb his future use of the internet.

The court heard Maye, who had no previous convictions, had since resigned from his post. 

Maye, of York Close, Abenbury, Wrexham, said he obtained no sexual gratification from the photographs he downloaded and kept on files on his laptop but the judge said it was difficult to see what other inference there could be.  

The court also heard there were a number of photographs of pupils at his school on the laptop but they were pictures of school trips, charity events and the last day of term. Stored in a different area of his computer, they were entirely innocent.  

Sentencing him for the indecent photographs, Judge Hughes said he was an intelligent man who had more than 8,000 illegal images on his computer.  

They ranged from the least serious level one to the most serious at level five and the images were of children aged between four and 11.  

“What makes the offences more worrying is that you are a teacher, holding a senior position in school,” he said.  

All those around him regarded him as an efficient, effective and good teacher.  

“I have no doubt they would have been absolutely horrified if they knew what you were up to in the privacy of your own home,” the judge said.  

The seriousness of such offences was that he provided a market to those who were directly abusing children to provide such images.  

“In that sense you are participating in that abuse of young children,” he said.  

The judge said he took into account Maye’s previous good character and his health difficulties. Testimonials showed he clearly had a constructive and worthy side.  

Prosecutor Sandra Subacchi said on May 31, while Maye was on a school trip to Barcelona, his girlfriend went to his home to load some of her photos onto his computer. 

She experienced some difficulty, went through files looking for her photographs, but came across child images in a folder marked “pre-teen” which shocked her.  

After spending some considerable time trying to think of an explanation, she packed up her possessions and contacted the headteacher. 

Police were called in and the laptop seized. 

Analyses showed there were 8,044 level one images, 86 at level two, 195 at level three, 156 at level four and 33 of the most serious imaginable at level five.  

In his first interview he made no comment but in a second one after the images were found, he admitted viewing them at home after drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. 

Despite the number of images he said he did not view the children in a sexual way. 

Ceri Evans, defending, said Maye was regarded as a good teacher who was well regarded by colleagues.  

He had been to see his GP over a medical problem. In view of his problems he had been searching on the internet and he had some question over his sexuality at certain times. 

He knew it had to be prison and the only question for the court was how long the sentence should be.  

Born and raised in Ireland, he was a successful teacher who was highly regarded by teachers and pupils alike who had carried out all his responsibilities in school
in a highly professional way.