A SUPPLY teacher in the Wrexham area was found to have indecent images of children on his computer.

But Kieran Richard Walsh, 26, was spared a prison sentence when he appeared at Mold Crown Court on Monday.

Walsh, who had been living with his grandparents in High Street, Rhosymedre near Wrexham, was placed on a three-year community order so he could follow a sex offender programme.

A sexual harm order was made for five years and he must register with the police as a sex offender for five years. His name will also be added to a register which means he cannot work with children or vulnerable adults.

Mold Crown Court heard Walsh was degree educated and had registered with an agency as a supply teacher in the Wrexham area.

He had worked in schools locally but that work would no longer be available to him and that he was now unemployed.

He had moved out of his grandparents’ home in case of repercussions and had been living a somewhat itinerant lifestyle in hotels and hostels for the past month until he knew what his future held. At an earlier hearing he pleaded guilty to six charges of making four indecent movies and one still image of children, aged between eight and 12, by downloading them from the internet.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing 49 indecent movies of children – 39 in class A, eight in class B and two in class C.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said they were serious and disturbing offences which occurred in April of last year.

He was not charged until March of this year and the delay had not been insignificant.

Walsh had made immediate admissions when police visited his home and in interview and pleaded guilty at a preliminary stage.

The case did cross the sentencing threshold and it was a choice for the court between a relatively short prison sentence or a long and onerous community order which would not be an easy option.

The judge said he would no longer be able to pursue any sort of career as a teacher. There had been no physical contact between him and the children and no likelihood of it progressing to any contact.

But he should be aware that were it not for the likes of him viewing such images on the internet then children, possibly thousands of miles away, would not be abused in the first place.

David Mainstone, prosecuting, said shortly after 8am on April 15 last year police executed a search warrant at his home address.

His grandparents contacted Walsh who returned to the property and when asked where they would find images, he told police they were on his laptop.

There was file sharing software on his laptop which had been used to download the images but it was accepted he had not been involved in distribution.

Interviewed, he accepted he had viewed such images during three periods in his life, in 2006, in 2009 and again in April of last year.

He said he came across the first image by accident but accepted he had then actively searched for them.

Walsh said he went through periods when he did not look at them, such as when he was in university or distracted by other interests.

At the time, he said he was working as a supply teacher, was signed up with an agency and had worked in schools in the local area.

Michael Whitty, defending, said his client was a man of good character.

It was accepted they were serious offences but a community order as recommended in the pre-sentence report would be a proper punishment and would be a proper form of rehabilitation to reduce further any risk that he might represent in the future.

He had completed a degree in history and he was following a career path which was educationally orientated.

“But clearly that will be a path that will no longer be open to him,” said Mr Whitty. “He knows he will have to start over. He finds himself without employment.”

There were issues in his life which needed to be addressed and Mr Whitty urged the court to impose a community order which would act as punishment, rehabilitation and a deterrent.