The disgraced caretaker of a Norwich primary school was jailed for 12 months and placed on the sex offender’s register for 10 years after he admitted possessing 1749 indecent images of children.

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Gavin Clark, 41, had been living for weeks prior to his arrest in a school store cupboard at Eaton Primary School, following the break-up of his long standing marriage.

Norwich Crown Court heard that when it was discovered that a bed and other personal items of Clark’s were found in the store cupboard, police were called in and the indecent child images were found on his laptop, a memory stick and memory card.

Clark, formerly of Ranworth Road, Norwich, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Kevin Eastwick prosecuting, said that nearly 500 images were in the most serious category with many featuring children that were under 13.

Clark had told police that the images were found on a memory card he found near the school and he had not deliberately sought out the images.

Ian James, for Clark, said that after the break-up of his marrage Clark had continued to live with his wife under the same roof but then after they divorced he had moved out and was living in a store cupboard at the school, where he worked.

“He effectively was living for some time in a cupboard in the school where he worked at the time. That fact explains the presence of the material at that particular location.”

He said that there was no sinister reason for him having his computer on the school premises.

He said that now as a result of his conviction he would no longer be able to work as a school caretaker.

“This has been a salutory lesson for him. He feels very conscious of the way he will be seen by right-minded members of the public.

“He has mentioned to me how sad he feels that by behaving in this way he has deprived himself of work he enjoyed very much. He will no longer be able to work in the sort of environment that he had been working in previously.”

Jailing him, Judge Mark Lucraft accepted that he had not been involved in distributing or the making of any images and said the reasons for his behaviour were “difficult to discern.”

As well as placing him on the sex offender’s register he also made Clark subject to a sexual offences prevention order which will restrict his use of the internet.

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