FORMER colleagues of a taxi office worker who downloaded 87,000 child abuse images are angry they were not told of his convictions.
Andrew Hillary was a teacher at a London private school when he was caught, and admitted, downloading the images of categories four and five – the most serious kind. He was jailed for 21 months in May 2013 but released on licence in March.
The 52-year-old, now of Southsea, got a job at Andicars in Leigh Park in May and worked there until October when colleagues discovered his secret by searching for his name online.
A member of staff, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I’m disgusted that I had to work in the same building as this man.’
She added: ‘He should never have been allowed to even gain employment or access to people’s personal information. Andicars failed their staff and customers and contractors by failing to do the correct checks.’
But Mr Hillary, who was described at his trial as an ‘inspirational’ teacher, said he had done nothing wrong in not disclosing his conviction.
He said: ‘I have to tell the police and my probation officer what jobs I’m applying for. If they don’t ask you to disclose convictions and the job does not involve children or vulnerable adults then I don’t have to disclose it.
‘I’ve had that confirmed by probation and the police.
‘There is obviously a risk that people will find out but there is nothing illegal in not telling them.’
Mr Hillary worked at Andicars for six months.
He left days after his conviction was discovered by colleagues when he says the situation became ‘untenable’.
He says he was not sacked and added: ‘Everyone thinks I have done some sort of molesting, which was never the case.
‘There was never any contact and never any hint of any. I was convicted on one thing but I’m being judged on something more.’
Andicars did not return calls from The News but said in a statement Mr Hillary no longer works for the company.
There is no suggestion that Mr Hillary did not obey the terms of his licence.
A Probation Service spokesman said: ‘Offenders on licence are subject to strict conditions and can be recalled to prison if they breach them.’