A disgraced Tayside primary school teacher caught with images of nearly-naked young girls on his home computer has avoided being jailed.
Stuart Grant was instead placed on probation for six months and will have his name added to the Sex Offenders’ Register for the same length of time after an offence which left his career at a Dundee school in ruins when the offence came to light.
Grant was a teacher at St Francis’ Primary School in Dundee – previously known as St Luke’s & St Matthew’s – but parents of youngsters there only learned of the reason behind his dismissal last May following his guilty plea to two charges relating to the possession of indecent material almost a decade ago.
He initially faced petition proceedings in relation to the matter, before admitting a summary complaint to charges of taking or making indecent images of children between September 11 2008 and June 4 2012 at an address in Kirkcroft Brae, Liff.
Grant, of Almond Place, Dundee, further admitted possessing indecent images of children at the same address on November 30 2011.
Forfar Sheriff Court previously heard police executed a warrant at Grant’s home on May 19 last year after receiving information that the accused was in possession of indecent images, and a computer tower and iPhone were seized.
When examined, investigating officers found three inaccessible images at ‘category C’ level of girls aged between five and eight in underwear, in indecent poses.
A further image was uncovered on the back-up of Grant’s user profile.
Grant’s solicitor, Laura Hogg, said the accused had lost his job and been thrown out of the marital home as a result of the offence.
Sheriff Gregor Murray said there were “unusual factors which significantly affect the sentence” including the offence’s historical nature, the low number of images and significant changes in Grant’s life.
Conditions of Grant’s probation include a requirement for him to liaise with officers from the police offender management unit and allowing police or supervising social work officers inspection of any devices capable of accessing the internet without advance notice.
Following Grant’s guilty plea, St Francis’ head teacher Neil Lowden moved to reassure parents that children from the school were not involved in the images Grant had been caught with.
In his letter to parents, he wrote: “It is with regret that I am writing to inform you that Stuart Grant, previously a member of the teaching staff at St Luke’s & St Matthew’s, has appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court charged with offences relating to indecent photographs of children.
“I am able to confirm that there is no evidence to indicate that any of the children involved in the photographs were pupils of this school or any other school in Dundee.
“I understand how upsetting this information will be and I would like to assure you that our school follows all the necessary child protection measures and procedures to protect all children in St Francis’.
“Mr Grant has not been teaching in our school since he was arrested on these charges in May last year,” the letter to parents said.