andrew brown
Andrew Brown, 61, from Peterborough, has been jailed for two yearsCambridgeshire Police

A former school governor has been jailed for two years after a burglar discovered indecent images of children on devices he had stolen from him - and then attempted to blackmail him.

Andrew Brown, from Peterborough, had claimed that burglar Ryan Penfold had planted the pictures on the USB sticks and laptop he had stolen.

However, a jury at Peterborough Crown Court rejected the 61-year-old's defence, convicting him of possessing 718 indecent images of children, some as young as three, all with creation dates before the burglary.

The court heard how the former music teacher was also heavily involved in the Girl Guides, and lived in a house where his wife ran a creche.

The former chair of governors at Kings School in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was burgled on 24 October 2015. Three USB memory sticks, a laptop, £300 in cash, old mobile phones and other items were taken.

Four days later a hand-delivered envelope bearing Brown's name arrived through his letterbox. It demanded £8,000 ($10,320) in cash and contained three indecent images of a boy.

The letter asked for cash to secure the return of the images and a telephone number was included, which was later tracked to Penfold.

Brown reported the letter to police, who interviewed him as a witness, and denied any knowledge of the indecent images.

Penfold was traced through the mobile phone number and officers raided his home address, where they found items he had stolen from Brown's home.

The 29-year-old was charged in connection with the offence and pleaded guilty to burglary, handling stolen goods, blackmail and drugs offences. He was sentenced to two years and eight months.

Pornography searches while teaching

During his trial Brown claimed that Penfold had planted the images. However, prosecutors said that police found he had used specialist software to hide child pornography on his iPhone, computer and laptop.

It was said in court that Brown had even carried out searches for pornography on his iPhone while conducting music exams.

During sentencing, Judge Jonathan Cooper told him, "Your view of children is an utterly repugnant one," reports the Mirror.

"You are clearly a very damaged man with a warped idea of how children in our society should be treated.

"As a music teacher yourself it is all the more sinister that you were searching for imagery of children being abused by their music teacher. There's been no element of remorse at any stage of proceedings thus far."

In total, 600 still and 118 video indecent images of children were discovered, 170 of which were graded in Category A, the most severe.

Detective Sergeant James Weston from the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) said: "This was a complicated investigation with increased risk because of the defendant's position of trust.

"His denial throughout the investigation regarding the possession of indecent images of children, extreme and prohibited images resulted in extensive digital forensic investigation work and analysis.

"We remain committed to safeguarding the most vulnerable and will take positive action to protect those at risk of significant harm."

Brown was jailed on Thursday (27 April) after he was found guilty of three counts of possessing indecent images of children, two counts of making indecent images of children, and one count of possessing a prohibited image of a child

He has also been banned from working with children and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.