George Watkins, 28, downloaded 27 indecent pictures and videos on to his iPhone while working as a languages teacher at the £21,000-a-year North Bridge House Senior Hampstead.
Wood Green crown court heard Watkins was marched off the school’s grounds in July 2019 when he first fell under investigation, but it took more than a year for police to find the illegal images on his phone.
Giving Watkins a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years, Judge John Dodd QC said the arrest and prosecution had been a “huge wake-up call”.
He said: “The images you ... had downloaded were dreadful, depicting young boys being sexually abused. You know that those who search for this material create demand for more of the same. That results in yet more children being abused.”
The court heard Watkins lost his job and he now faces a permanent ban from teaching. Boys aged between five and 12 were seen being abused in the images and videos, which had been downloaded between March 2018 and July 2019. “None of the images relate to any child with whom you have had contact,” the judge added.
Avirup Chaudhuri, for Watkins, said he is “remorseful” and has sought therapy. Watkins, who is living in Dunstable with his parents, pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent photographs of a child. He was ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation course and 80 hours of community service, and will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order.
A spokesman for North Bridge House School said: “Safeguarding is our utmost priority and we have strict, clear policies and procedures in place to protect our students. All our staff go through the highest standard of safer recruitment checks and any change in circumstance identified during employment is dealt with swiftly and robustly.
“No children at North Bridge House Senior Hampstead were involved in this matter.”