A WIGAN school teaching assistant has been jailed for the possession and distribution of indecent images of children.
Ian Toase pleaded guilty to 10 charges of distributing vile sexual pictures and one charge of possessing 92 indecent images of youngsters at Liverpool Crown Court.
Yesterday he was sent to prison for two years and given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.
In September 2013, an officer acting in an undercover capacity exchanged messages and images with someone using the alias Dave Hill on Yahoo Instant Messenger and motherless.com chat rooms.
These images were indecent images of children, ranging from A (most serious) to C.
A subsequent check of the IP address identified a house in Wigan, at which a warrant was executed, Toase was arrested and his computers were seized.
On these laptops, 92 indecent images were found, along with evidence of him having shared the images with the undercover agent.
Toase, who was an assistant at Hope School in Marus Bridge, helping in classes of children with special educational needs, went on to admit guilt to a social worker, saying: “I would look at my laptop and think ‘no I am not going to go on it.’
“But the urge was too strong and I just had to explore and see more.”
Det Con Sophie O’Rourke, who played a key role in the investigation, said: “Both GMP and the courts view take charges against those who download pornographic images of children very seriously.
“The actions of Toase, and others who download and exchange illegal images like this, fuel the trade of child sexual abuse.
“This result sends a clear message to those who believe that they can obtain these images and get away with it: they will be pursued, tracked down by the police and brought before the courts.”
Defending, Mr Steven Swift pointed out that Toase had no previous convictions, that he had pleaded guilty at an early stage and that “he hopes to move forward with his life.”
The judge also ordered Toase to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.