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A TEACHER at a children’s home was caught in possession of more than 170 extreme pornographic images on his work computer.

Marc Beattie, 42, who taught art at Swanwick Lodge secure children’s home in Swanwick at the time, was caught out when a colleague spotted obscene images on his computer when asked to repair it.

Police were alerted and they executed a warrant, seizing the computer equipment Beattie used for work last June.

When examined it was found to contain 172 images, including 72 moving images.

Beattie was arrested and told police during interview that he was addicted to pornography.

He admitted searching on-line for and looking at vile images, some of which he saved onto the computer.

Beattie, of Woodrush Crescent, Locks Heath, said he had videos and CDs, one of which he had been given, and that he had used someone else’s credit card with their permission to buy videos.

Beattie was sacked from his teaching post.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard he was under stress at the time.

Adam Feest, defending, said: ‘He has recognised both in interview, by his plea and his discussion with the probation service that his coping strategies with that stress were clearly all wrong.’

Beattie, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of possession of extreme pornographic images.

He was put under supervision for 18 months and told to pay £340 costs.

The judge ordered that the images should be destroyed.

Judge Roger Hetherington, sentencing, said: ‘You were employed as an art teacher at a secure unit.

‘You therefore had important responsibilities with regard to the people in your care and the first warning about the existence of these images on your computer was when your computer being used at work had to be repaired.

‘It’s right, however, to note that there is no suggestion that you were in fact distributing any of those images to anyone else.

‘I accept that you sought to look at those images because you were depressed at the time by matters in your personal life and stress at work as well, and you may have initially been introduced to it by a friend.

‘But nevertheless they were disgusting images.’