Former Sheffield head is jailed over porn

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A ‘DEVIOUS’ former Sheffield headmaster previously saved from jail by testimonials from ex-pupils has been locked up for his haul of pornographic images of children.

In 2008 married dad-of-three Colin Robert Wilmshurst – now aged 71 – was given a three-year community order with a sex offenders’ treatment programme after police found sexual internet clips of children on his computer.

One was of a sedated and blindfolded girl being abused.

Wilmshurst, formerly of Ashdell Road, Broomhill, taught at private Westbourne School, in Broomhill, for 23 years and walked free because former pupils and their parents sent ‘many’ testimonials which ‘impressed’ the judge.

In August 2010, a probation officer successfully applied for the order to end early with a report saying Wilmshurst had come to terms with the past that led to his interest in child pornography and was unlikely to reoffend.

But earlier this year at York Crown Court, he admitted four charges of downloading child pornography, one of possessing child pornography and one of possessing prohibited pornographic drawings of children between March and August 2010. Both included hardcore pornography.

Taryn Turner, defending, pleaded for a sentence that would allow him to keep his liberty.

But the judge was the same one who sentenced him in 2008 and reduced his punishment in 2010, the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst.

He said: “Having experience of your devious behaviour doesn’t fill me with great confidence that you would necessary comply with such an order.”

Wilmshurst, who was charged under the name Wilmhurst in 2008, now of Willow Court, Recreation Road, Pickering, was jailed for nine months and given a 10-year sexual offences prevention order.

The order prevents him using the internet unless he uses a computer with specially installed software that will automatically notify the police if he accesses child pornographic websites.

He will also be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Mrs Turner claimed Wilmshurst was using the child pornography to help him research a book which would help him deal with being abused as a child at a private school.

The court heard there was no evidence Wilmshurst had ever himself sexually abused any child in his care.

Wilmshurst was one of Sheffield’s longest serving headteachers leading Westbourne for 19 years before he retired in 2004.