Haberdashers teacher used dark web to access indecent images
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A former teacher who used the dark web to access child abuse images has been barred from the profession.
Dr Jonas Green, who worked at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree, admitted accessing the indecent images in a letter to a Teaching Regulation Agency panel in 2022.
The agency ruled the former theology and philosophy teacher is “prohibited” from the profession indefinitely.
He will not be able to apply to restore his ability to teach.
Dr Green, 48, began working at the Hertfordshire school in 2007.
In January 2020, police in the region attended Dr Green’s home in Colney Heath after they received intelligence an IP address connected to him had been used to access “online child sexual abuse and exploitation material”.
“A number of devices were seized by the police,” agency decision maker John Knowles said.
“Dr Green’s laptop was triaged on scene and discovered to have the TOR network – also known as ‘the dark web’ – downloaded.
“Dr Green was asked why he had this downloaded and he replied that he used it to see what could be accessed, and whether it was possible to download child abuse on there.”
According to the agency, two images in Category B were found, which would have featured “non-penetrative sexual activity”.
Three images in Category C – the least severe of the three categories – were also found.
Dr Green’s employment at the school – now known as Haberdashers’ Boys’ School – ended on July 13, 2020, and he was convicted of two offences of making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of children in December the same year.
He appeared at St Albans Crown Court on February 9, 2021, where he was handed two 12-month community orders which ran concurrently, given a sexual harm prevention order, and placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.
Dr Green apologised for his behaviour in his letter to the Teaching Regulation Agency.
Mr Knowles said: “He stated that it was with deepest regret that he admitted to the allegation and wanted to take the opportunity to apologise for his behaviour.
“Dr Green submitted that it was thoughtlessness, intellectual arrogance and a lack of empathy which led him to explore what illicit material could be accessed on the internet.
“Dr Green further submitted that he did not do so for any deviant reasons, and did not appreciate the severe consequences it could have had on his family, place or work, or for himself.
“There was no evidence that Dr Green’s actions were not deliberate.”
Mr Knowles said a prohibition order “is proportionate and in the public interest”.
Panel comments read: “The panel noted that Dr Green’s actions took place outside of the education setting, in that he was accessing images online.
“As far as the panel is aware, the incidents did not involve pupils from the school.
“However, the panel noted that Dr Green was convicted of the offence of making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of children and that Dr Green was placed on the sex offenders’ register for a period of five years.
“The panel was therefore satisfied that Dr Green’s actions were relevant to teaching, working with children and/or working in an education setting as it was an offence involving children.”
Mr Gus Lock, Habs headmaster, said the school did everything it could to help police with their investigations.
“The school was contacted by police in January 2020 and informed that a member of staff had been found in possession of inappropriate images of children downloaded from the internet on his personal computer,” he said.
“We immediately suspended the individual pending a police investigation and launched our own, which resulted in the termination of his employment and the appropriate referrals to statutory bodies.
“He pleaded guilty in court and received a non-custodial sentence.
“At no time was there any suggestion that any child from the school was involved, and we did everything we could to help police with their inquiries at the time.
“Safeguarding is at the centre of all we do as a school and we have robust measures to deal with any incident involving the well-being of pupils.”
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