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Disgraced Burnley teacher handed suspended sentence after child porn found on his computer

A teacher from Burnley has been given a suspended jail  sentence after police found internet child porn images on his computer.
A teacher from Burnley has been given a suspended jail sentence after police found internet child porn images on his computer.
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A disgraced Burnley teacher, found with internet child porn on his computer, has been given a suspended jail term.


Father-of-two Paul Fort was arrested at Rosewood Primary School, where he worked.

He was then released by police and was under investigation for six months.

Officers discovered a total of 32 people indecent photographs, including nine moving images, on a laptop in a wardrobe by the side of his bed at his home, the town's magistrates had earlier heard.

Today, the 51-year-old appeared for sentence before Blackburn magistrates, who were told the case had caused a "social media frenzy" after it was reported on the Burnley Express website last month.

Fort's solicitor told the hearing if the defendant didn't realise how abhorrent the public thought such offences were, he did now.

Fort, who qualified as a teacher in 2010, has been married for 25 years and is heavily involved with a local church.

He told police he was not sexually attracted to children.

A hearing was earlier told how police seized electronic devices in the defendant's possession at school and more were seized after a search of his home.

Officers examined the images found on the laptop and found four Category B pictures, showing young teenage girls engaging in solo sex acts.

A total of 28 photos were found at Category C. They showed young girls between 10 and 15 years of age, posing nude or partially clothed, in a sexualised manner.

The prosecutor had continued: " A number of images were found which were borderline.

"The majority were of the same girl, who he appears to have been chatting to over Skype. The contents of the messages are sexually explicit. It is not possible to say when the pictures were taken."

The sentencing court was told how the probation service deemed Fort to be low risk and said they could work with him. He was said to have tried to address his offending behaviour and to be genuinely remorseful for what he had done.

Mr Nick Cassidy, defending Fort, told the earlier hearing: " Since his arrest, he has engaged with a number of local counselling groups aimed at assisting defendants who are charged with these offences."

The sentencing hearing was told Fort has been working with a group called Mind over Matter, after being referred to them by his GP.

Fort had been suspended from his teaching position at the school since the offences, it was earlier said.

Mr Cassidy told the sentencing court: " He expects to lose his employment. "

Fort, of Westbourne Avenue South, Burnley, earlier admitted two counts of possessing indecent photographs, last October 12th. The defendant, who had no previous convictions, was told by the Bench the offences were aggravated by the fact he was a teacher.

Fort received 26 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, with a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was placed on the Sexual Offenders' Register for seven years.

The defendant was ordered to pay £85 costs.