A Tayside primary school teacher’s career is in ruins after being caught with images of nearly naked young girls on his home computer.
Stuart Grant was removed from his post at a Dundee school after his arrest last May on charges of downloading indecent images over a period covering almost four years.
The 33-year-old pled guilty but sentencing was delayed when he appeared at Forfar sheriff court on Thursday after a sheriff raised concerns over a social work report’s correlation to a Crown narrative which revealed four images in total had been recovered from equipment seized at Grant’s home.
Grant was a teacher at Dundee’s St Francis primary school – previously known as St Luke’s & St Matthew’s – but parents of youngsters there only learned of the reason behind his dismissal following his guilty plea to two charges relating to the possession of indecent material.
He initially faced petition proceedings in relation to the matter, before pleading guilty on 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.
Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said 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.
The court heard the accused was co-operate throughout with police, and made no reply to being cautioned and charged with the offences.
Ordering forfeiture of the computer and phone, Sheriff Gregor Murray told Grant that whilst he had pled guilty to a serious offence it involved a very low number of images and the report before the court “does not reflect that in any shape or form”.
The sheriff told Grant the likely outcome in the case will be a Community Payback Order, but said he also wanted matters relating to possible conduct requirements of such a sentence to be fully investigated.
Sentence was deferred until May 10 and Grant was made subject to the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Registration in the interim.
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.