PARENTS

Primary School Teacher Photographed Children Undressing For PE

23/03/2011 18:13 | Updated 22 May 2015

A primary school teacher took photographs of his young pupils with a hidden camera pen as they were getting undressed for PE lessons.

Richard Watkins, 28, whose wife was pregnant at the time, admitted secretly filming the children when he appeared before magistrates in Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Watkins, who also admitted downloading indecent material of children from the internet, resigned as a teacher in Calne, Wiltshire, after his arrest in November 2010.

He was found to possess 23,357 indecent images of children stored on his home computer over a two-year period.

Parents and staff from the school attended the magistrates hearing to hear Watkins plead guilty to 13 offences.

They included downloading indecent material of children from the internet and voyeurism where he took photos using the camera pen.

The content of the downloaded material included more than 170 images of children and seven movies that were categorised as level five, the worst case offences.

William Hazelton, defending, said: 'He feels total shame. He knows he has let himself down. He's let the school down and the children there. The implications for the family are immense. At the time of arrest they were expecting their first baby. His baby was born in January this year.

Watkins, a former children's entertainer, admitted the offences and volunteered the camera pen he had used to police officers.

'He always thought he would be a school teacher for life. It was a job he was good at and enjoyed doing it.'

Alastair Nisbett, prosecuting, said: 'You may feel that is a fairly extreme breach of trust. He admitted he had taken these with a view to keeping them and viewing them later on for his own gratification.

'If you saw them you would be aware that he would be lingering over particular children that he found attractive.'

Police were alerted to Watkins by a website tracking firm that a computer, identified by its IP address as belonging to Watkins, had been used to download the indecent images.

Mr Hazelden said: 'When Mr Watkins was arrested he immediately acknowledged that he was responsible for everything that was found on his computer. He went on to be very open with officers about the background. He told the officers this went back to when he was a young teenager and he found material on the internet.'

Watkins was released on bail to an address in Dorset and is due before Swindon Crown Court for sentence on a date yet to be fixed.

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