A trainee teacher has been jailed for distributing ‘sadistic’ images of children
Iain Wise denied the offences, but was found guilty after a trial at Newport Crown Court
A trainee primary school teacher has been jailed for three years after being found guilty of possessing and distributing “sadistic” images of young children.
Iain Wise, 27, who was studying for a postgraduate certificate in education, denied 12 offences but was found guilty by a jury following a three-day trial at Newport Crown Court.
Recorder Richard Williams told the defendant: “You have been convicted on the clearest possible evidence.”
It took the jury of five men and seven women about 20 minutes to return unanimous guilty verdicts on all counts.
In his opening, prosecutor John Ryan said police found 181 indecent photographs of children, 219 indecent films of children and 59 extreme images on his laptop.
The court heard he created school lesson plans within hours of the illegal files.
Wise was arrested on May 4 last year and accepted using the laptops, but could not explain how the illegal material had found its way on to the systems.
He told officers: “I don’t understand – I’m not interested in that kind of thing.”
During cross-examination, he stated he could not have been responsible, as he was at a fancy dress party when the files were created.
Wise, from Ty’r Person in Church Village, Pontypridd, denied three counts of possessing and eight counts of distributing indecent images of children.
He also denied one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image.
Mr Ryan argued aggravating features included the age and vulnerability of the children concerned and the “significant degree of distress” they suffered.
The court heard the children involved were aged between seven and 14.
Prosecutors said Wise was training to teach children from nursery age through to age 11.
Arguing there was an abuse of trust, Mr Ryan said: “As a trainee teacher, he was being trusted close to children.”
The court heard he browsed and distributed images of Categories A, B and C – with Category A being the most serious, described by prosecutors as “the very worst sadistic images”.
Matthew Buckland, defending, told the court his client did not have any previous convictions.
He said: “This represents a very substantial fall from grace for him.”
The defence barrister did not make an application for a pre-sentence report.
Recorder Williams concluded the appropriate starting point was three years, with a sentencing range of between two and five years. He noted the “degree of depravity”.
The judge told Wise: “In my judgement, there is the clearest evidence that you have a sexual interest in children of a very young age.”
He added: “You browsed and accessed images of that kind while studying for a postgraduate certificate in education.”
Recorder Williams said it was “chilling” and “horrifying” that the defendant was training to teach children of the age he was watching being abused. He described the behaviour as “sadistic”.
Wise was jailed for three years and an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order was made.
A spokesman for NSPCC Cymru said: “By downloading these images, Wise has helped to fuel an awful online market in child sexual abuse.
“He has betrayed the position of trust he holds and it is important that treatment forms a part of his sentence.
“Every image of child abuse is a crime scene and behind each one is a victim who will need support to recover.”
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “The prosecution team worked with the police high tech crime unit to prove that Wise was responsible for the downloading and sharing of the images and movies in question, which resulted in him being convicted of the offences.
“This case illustrates that despite the best efforts of those responsible for these offences to conceal their criminality, the prosecution team will work tirelessly to ensure that the offenders will be brought to justice.”