Ex-Clitheroe Royal Grammar School deputy head searched Internet for child porn photos

Ian Lawson, deputy head at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, in overall charge of Chatburn Road site.
Ian Lawson, deputy head at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, in overall charge of Chatburn Road site.
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A FORMER deputy head at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School has been placed on three years’ supervision for child porn offences.

Arthur Ian Lawson was found to have accessed almost 150 indecent images of children after police searched his home and took away two computers.

The 49-year-old, of Barnacre Road, Longridge, who has since resigned from his job, today pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to eight charges of possessing indecent photos of children.

An investigation showed searches had been made on the Internet relating to “English schoolboys in school uniform” and “schoolboy spanking”. He was arrested in March last year.

Miss Kath Johnson (prosecuting) said the defendant had accessed 146 images at level one, the least serious category. Miss Johnson told the court: “A large number of the images were set in a school setting, a gym or changing room scenario.”

When interviewed in March and April last year, Lawson denied any responsibility. Miss Johnson added: “He went on to say he had viewed some images of children who were either in their underwear or naked. The defendant explained he did it out of curiosity, not from having any sexual interest.”

The court was also told there was no suggestion of him acting inappropriately towards any child in his care.

His barrister, Mr Richard Simons, said Lawson was a man of previous impeccable character. “He has dedicated his whole adult life to his profession and his colleagues – even in the knowledge of his commission of the offences – still speak of him in the highest regard.

“In spite of these offences, it has never been suggested he has behaved inappropriately to a child in his care.”

Mr Simons said: “He has lost his job, his career, his profession. In effect, he has lost the product of his lifelong endeavour. He will never work as a teacher again.”

In passing sentence, Judge Jonathan Gibson accepted an assessment that there was nothing to suggest the defendant posed a direct risk of abusing a child.

There’s more on this report in next week’s Clitheroe Advertiser & Times