PRIMARY HEADTEACHER SENTENCED OVER CHILD SEX IMAGES
APRIMARY school headteacher who admitted making indecent images of a child has been sentenced.
A court heard that two images were found on a Samsung telephone, one in category A, the most serious, and one in category C. The images had been sent to the teacher by the victim via social media app Snapchat.
The images were recovered by police using specialist software.
A pre-sentence report detailed in court yesterday found the teacher was “mortified” to learn receiving the images was illegal and she had entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity.
Rhian Eleri DeSouza was arrested on August 14 and made a no comment interview.
She is currently suspended from her role as head of Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Gellionnen and appeared at Swansea Crown Court yesterday. She previously appeared before Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on August 15, where she indicated guilty pleas to two counts of making an indecent photograph of a child in May and June.
The 43-year-old, of Five Roads in Llanelli, has been on bail.
Sentencing DeSouza, Judge Paul Thomas QC said: “This is a very unusual set of circumstances. It’s unique in my experience, which is of dealing every week with such cases over many years with cases of indecent photos of children under 18.”
He said the scenario involved was “different to other cases” as the girl involved was aged 16 and had sent the images consensually.
The judge said: “She was not under the age of consent and there was no distribution of the images. The likelihood is on Snapchat they would have disappeared after a short period of time.
“That, however, is not to trivialise what you did. As a result of having two photos you will no doubt lose your job and lose your career. I see no way you can teach again.”
DeSouza was sentenced to a two-year community order with 25 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement and 200 hours’ unpaid work. She must sign the sex offenders’ register for five years.
A pre-sentence report found a “clear demonstration of remorse”, her solicitor Carina Hughes said.
She added: “She has lost her profession and her financial independence and the stress and anxiety has been a punishment while awaiting punishment for this case.”
> Rhian DeSouza outside Swansea Crown Court
> Rhian Eleri DeSouza