Former teacher jailed for child sexual offences - Reading

10/02/2016

A former teacher appeared at Reading Crown Court today, Wednesday, 10 February 2016, and was jailed for two years and nine months after being convicted of sexual offences against children.

Daniel Fisher, aged 35, of Merchants Place, Reading, was sentenced after being found guilty on 11 January 2016, by a jury, after a week-long trial of two counts of making indecent images of children and 15 counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

In addition to the custodial sentence, Fisher was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.

Officers from Thames Valley Police's Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) carried out a warrant under the Protection of Children Act 1978 at Fisher's home on 31 December 2013.

When the officers examined his computer, sexually explicit chat logs involving children and indecent images of children were found.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved a teacher, now aged 35, attempting to engage teenage girls in sexual activity between March 2010 and December 2013, and the making of indecent photographs of children between February 2010 and December 2013.

"Daniel Fisher, a former teacher at the Holt School in Wokingham, engaged 15 girls aged 13-15 in sexually explicit chat online using MSN, Skype and the instant messaging app KIK, and invited some of the girls to send him indecent images. Due to the volume of victims and their location/country of residence they have not been contacted during the course of the investigation.  Fisher was charged with 'attempts' because it is possible that the persons at the other end of the chats are not the young girls they claim to be.

"The chat logs showed that Fisher always gave his real age and occupation and also volunteered other information about his address in Reading and his telephone number.  The chat logs also showed that Fisher used some skill in getting the young girls to indulge in increasingly indecent exchanges.  He was alert to their responses and if he sensed he had gone too far he was quick to withdraw.

"Fisher initially claimed that his computer had been hacked. However, on 11 January 2016, after a week-long trial at Reading Crown Court, Fisher was convicted, by a jury, of 15 counts of attempting to cause a child to engage in a sexual activity and two counts of making indecent photographs of children, despite his denials.

"The internet is a wonderful resource, but access to it has hazards for children. Internet safety is vital and there are many sources of advice, guides and information on how to keep children safe online. Safer Internet Day this year took place yesterday, Tuesday, 09 February 2016, and the theme was Play your part for a better internet. Hundreds of organisations got involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

"We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved. The convictions and todays sentence serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those that know such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward because time is no barrier to justice."

Speaking following the sentencing, investigating officer Detective Constable Sandra Tearney, from the POLIT, said: "Fisher was found guilty by jury to have been in possession of indecent images of children and of attempting to engage children in sexual activity online.

"These are serious offences which cause lasting damage to children and young people. Thames Valley Police listens to everyone who reports such offences and investigates to establish the circumstances. This allows the Force to pursue offenders and to bring those responsible to justice, as has happened in this case."