PRI­MARY HEAD­TEACHER SEN­TENCED OVER CHILD SEX IMAGES

Western Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ROBERT DALLING Re­porter rob.dalling@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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