On Friday 21 July 2017, Andy Robson appeared at Guildford Crown Court, with his head down in the dock, ready to be sentenced for taking photographs and videos of children whilst they were in a state of undress. The offences took place at two different schools at two different times. Robson was acting as Deputy Head Teacher at Surrey Hills CofE Primary School when the first offences took place. He was also a safeguarding leader and trainer at both this school and later at Ewell Castle School where he was employed as a teacher and Deputy Headmaster.
Robson filmed his pupils on his iPhone whilst they were getting changed after sporting activities. During the course of the sentencing hearing, Robson’s addiction to downloading photos and videos of naked children was revealed. The Court heard that Robson would download these images and then delete everything as a result of his guilt however, he would then go back to downloading the images again. The police were alerted by images shared online and the IP address led them straight to Robson’s home address. A search of his property revealed a laptop, two external hard discs and a number of USB sticks containing indecent images of children. Even the day before Robson’s arrest, he had covertly filmed the children at the school he was teaching at.
During the course of the hearing, the prosecution barrister, Mr Harris, read out a number of victim impact statements. In one statement, a parent said her child had asked “what a pervert and paedophile is”. He added that “a word like that shouldn’t be in their vocabulary.”
In mitigation, Ms Daly, Robson’s defence barrister, commented that Robson “has not sought to minimise his actions, he recognises he needs to be punished and that he needs help… he will never work as a teacher or with children again”.
Robson was charged with two counts of making indecent images of children and two counts of taking indecent images of children. Following his guilty plea, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment. The Judge also made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which is to last for 10 years and Robson has been placed on the Sexual Offences Register.
Recorder Michael Bromley-Martin, in his sentencing remarks stated that “there are a large number of children and a large number of families who have been affected by what you have done. A gross breach of trust has been committed here. Parents, families and the public expect protection of their children, not exploitation”.