Published: 06:00, 29 January 2020
| Updated: 10:53, 29 January 2020
A pervert teacher “besotted his mind with filth” including a snap of one young girl being raped.
Music teacher Philip Smith, 50, was caught with 356 indecent images of children at his Margate home.
Smith, of Hartsdown Road, was found with two Category A pictures, one Category B picture and a Category C movie, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Judge James O’Mahony told the secondary and primary school freelance teacher: “This is awful filth you have besotted your mind with.”
Smith told his wife he “didn’t know what (internet files) he was opening up” when police arrested him at his home on August 8 shortly after 7am.
The sex offender told police he discovered the images accidentally on his two iPhones and “wished he had never found them,” prosecutor Peter Forbes explained.
But a probe into Smith’s internet search history revealed he had been actively searching for illegal pictures.
Smith later admitted finding children attractive and has since sought counselling for what judge O’Mahony dubbed “a serious problem.”
Previously of good character, Smith pleaded guilty to the five charges levelled at him at magistrates’ court.
And last week he was handed a six month prison sentence suspended for two years and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years. It will prevent him from working in schools.
He must also complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
"You do appear remorseful and you have started counselling yourself. Another (mitigating factor) is you don't have any previous convictions, Judge O'Mahony said.
He added: "If you commit any offence at all you will get that six months as starters.”
Smith was convicted of two counts of possessing indecent images of children between February - August last year.
He was also convicted of three counts of making indecent images of children between the same dates.
More by this authorSean Axtell