The Daily Telegraph

Ex-governor ‘blackmaile­d by burglar over child porn’

- Lydia Willgress

By A BURGLAR tried to blackmail a former school governor for £8,000 after he found indecent images on a stolen memory stick, a court has heard.

Andrew Brown, 61, stands accused of possessing a number of pornograph­ic images of children.

The jury at Peterborou­gh Crown Court was told a memory stick allegedly containing indecent images was originally taken during a burglary on October 24, 2015. The thief, Ryan Penfold, later admitted to taking a number of memory sticks and is said to have told an associate on realising what they contained: “I do not want these, they contain child pornograph­y.”

Thomas Brown, prosecutin­g, told the court that Mr Brown and his wife had left their property around 10am. On returning three hours later, they discovered it had been burgled.

The thieves had taken £300 in cash, some old phones and the memory sticks, so it was assumed burglary had been the motive for the break-in.

But days later a letter was sent to the defendant containing a blackmail note.

The prosecutor said: “It contained three indecent images of children and a demand for £8,000 in cash – otherwise the person writing the note would expose Andrew Brown.”

He added that the note also contained a phone number which allowed police to find Penfold. The thief – who later served a prison sentence for the burglary – told police he had stolen three memory sticks from the property and sold them on for £25. When Mr Brown was questioned by police about the memory sticks, he said he knew nothing about how the images were on the USB stick and suggested that the burglar had put them there.

Police also examined Mr Brown’s desktop computer, laptop, the memory stick and a separate hard drive, finding a number of images, the court heard.

Mr Brown, of Peterborou­gh, Cambridges­hire, was chair of governors at the King’s School between September 2014 and November 2015. Darren Ayling, head teacher, previously said: “The school has been assured by Cambridges­hire police that these charges do not relate to any former or current pupils from the King’s School.”

Mr Brown denies three counts of possessing indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, two counts of possessing extreme pornograph­ic images and one count of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

The trial continues.

 ??  ?? Andrew Brown, a former school governor, claims the images were placed on the USB stick by the burglar
Andrew Brown, a former school governor, claims the images were placed on the USB stick by the burglar

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