19 June 2024

Local school caretaker sentenced after indecent images found on his devices

A school caretaker who was arrested after an internet monitoring company alerted police about his computer use has been sentenced after pleading guilty to making indecent images of children.

Richard Burt, 66, of Cornwall Road, Salisbury, was arrested in August 2020, due to concerns being raised about the type of websites he was accessing while at work.

When police forensically examined his mobile phone and tablet, they found evidence of indecent images of children.

Burt, who was employed as a site manager at Manor Fields School in Salisbury, was immediately suspended whilst the investigation progressed.

Burt appeared at Salisbury Magistrates Court on 29th April 2022 and pleaded guilty to one charge of making indecent images of children. He was released on conditional bail and appeared again on Friday (8th July 2022) for sentencing.

He was given an 18 months community order and will be recorded on the Sex Offenders Register for five years and must abide by the conditions of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years.

Det Con Jason Walsh, from Wiltshire Police’s Child Internet Exploitation Team, said, “Due to the fact that Burt worked in a school, his internet use was being monitored and, because of the nature of some of the websites he was accessing, the company alerted the police. We were able to act swiftly and make an arrest, seizing his devices so these could be examined for evidence of the viewing or downloading of child abuse images.

“We know that this case is likely to cause concern amongst the community, particularly for people who know Burt through his work at a school. However, while every child who is pictured in these types of images, is a very real victim of abuse, it is important to note that we have found no evidence of Burt either taking pictures of children known to him or committing offences against children known to him.

“We hope this case highlights the proactive work which is constantly taking place to identify offenders who access indecent images of children and ensure they are brought to justice.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson added, “The safeguarding of pupils is our priority and we have been working closely with the school and the police since this came to light. This has been a difficult time for the school community and we have provided support as they have followed all the necessary safeguarding procedures.”

For more information and support for anyone who is concerned about someone accessing indecent images of children, or who has wider concerns about child abuse, please click here.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty