Former Keighley teacher Craig Belshaw, of Allerton jailed

Craig Belshaw

Craig Belshaw

First published in Allerton Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

A married music teacher, who is in a relationship with a former pupil, has been jailed for having indecent images of children.

Craig Belshaw, 33, was found to have nearly 300 images, some of them video footage, and mostly of young teenage girls, on two computers and a memory stick at his family home.

Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that Belshaw had confessed to his wife to possessing the images and she had contacted police.

Jailing him for four months, Judge James Goss QC said he was an intelligent man in a position of trust and a custodial sentence was inevitable.

Prosecutor Stephen Grattage told the court that before August, 2009, Belshaw, who was of previous good character, had worked as a teacher at Oakbank School in Keighley.

In July of that year, police were contacted by the school in relation to e-mails of a sexual nature between the defendant and a pupil at that school. His home was searched and he was arrested.

Mr Grattage said Belshaw’s wife gave a statement indicating he had confessed to her about a relationship with a sixth form pupil, and to having the indecent images.

He was found to have 217 level one images – the lowest level – 35 level two images, six at level three and 28 at level four. There were no level five images, the most serious level.

Belshaw, of Allerton Road, Bradford, pleaded guilty, at an earlier hearing, to ten charges of making, and one of possessing, indecent photographs of children.

His barrister, Simon Perkins, said Belshaw had not been charged with any offence in respect of his relationship with the girl, who is now 21. He said: “That relationship survives.”

Mr Perkins said the offending began with a voyeuristic interest in females slightly younger than her. The relationship had not been physical until it was lawful.

Judge Goss said the number and nature of the images were not particularly high.

But he told Belshaw: “You clearly knew what you were doing and must have known the consequences of your actions.”

The judge made a ten-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning Belshaw from having unsupervised contact with children under 16, or inviting them into his house – except for his own children – or being involved with any voluntary group or organisation which might be attended by children.

He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for seven years and barred from working with children.

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