A “MANIPULATIVE and devious” paedophile and ex teacher at one of the South West’s top schools has been jailed for three years nine months after admitting using covert cameras to make indecent images of children.
With 120 alleged victims over 16 years, a total of 36 counts were admitted by 53-year-old Jonathan Thomson-Glover, from Wadebridge in Cornwall.
He pleaded guilty at Taunton Crown Court this morning to making, taking and possessing indecent images of children, some of which were at Clifton College, where he taught, as well as at another property.
CPS Senior Crown prosecutor Howard Phillips said: “Jonathan Thomson-Glover is an educated and intelligent man who exploited and manipulated his position for his own sexual gratification.
“He must have known he had paedophile tendencies when he accepted his appointment and he began his offending within a year of taking up his position.
“This case is unique due to the timespan of offences, the high number of victims and the gross breach of trust and invasion of privacy.
“The Crown Prosecution Service takes all cases of child sexual exploitation seriously and we’re pleased that by working closely with Devon and Cornwall Police and Avon and Somerset Police, we’ve been able to bring this case to a swift conclusion today.
“I’d like to thank the victims in this case and their families for their ongoing support with the overall investigation and court proceedings.
“I hope the sentence passed today will bring some measure of closure to them and will act as a deterrent to others minded to act in a similar way.”
The charges relate to more than 120 victims who were secretly filmed at the Bristol boarding school and an address in Cornwall over a 16-year period.
He was arrested following a joint investigation by Avon and Somerset and Devon and Cornwall Police.
In summer 2014, the National Crime Agency contacted Devon and Cornwall Police about computer IP addresses being used to download indecent images of children.
This information led to warrants being executed at two properties in August 2014 – one in Devon and another in Wadebridge, Cornwall – resulting in Thomson-Glover being arrested.
A large number of VHS tapes, Hi8 discs, laptops and hard drives were seized and examination of these materials uncovered a large amount of images and footage taken using covert cameras. The investigation established these cameras had been placed within Clifton College and the property in Wadebridge.
Det Insp Andrea Kingdon, of Operation Initial, said: “Jonathan Thomson-Glover has been jailed for offences of making, taking and possessing indecent images. These offences included covert filming and the downloading of indecent images of children from the internet.
“We’ve been committed to doing everything we can to identify all those in the covert footage who were directly affected by Thomson-Glover’s offending but it’s been a challenging, painstaking and time-intensive process. More than 130 victims have been identified during the course of this investigation.
“None of the charges brought in this case relate to contact offences and there is no evidence to suggest the images or footage have been distributed to anyone else or uploaded onto the internet.
“These crimes amounted to an abhorrent abuse of trust and a gross invasion of privacy.
“During police interviews, Thomson-Glover described his activities as ‘compulsive’. It’s clear he has been prolific in his criminal activity and has demonstrated a meticulous approach in his planning and cataloguing processes.
“Although the footage was recorded onto VHS tapes, there is a clear suggestion he may have used pinhole or spy cameras during the later stages of his offending. He’s proved himself to be a manipulative and devious sexual offender who had the ability to keep his compulsion a secret from everyone around him.
“We’ve taken great care to approach victims in the right way and provide any help, advice or support they’ve needed, either through our specially trained officers, our Lighthouse service set-up to offer bespoke help to vulnerable victims of crime, or from external and independent charities or organisations.
“We’ve been working closely with the college and its management team and they’ve been extremely supportive of our investigation.
“We’re also grateful for the support we’ve received from all our partners, including the National Crime Agency and Crown Prosecution Service.”
If you need to contact one of the officers working on this investigation, contact the Operation Initial team at Taunton Police Station via 101 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If anyone is affected by this investigation and needs independent support and advice, Victim Support are a good first point of contact for victims of crime on 0808 1689 111 or contact Lighthouse Victim Support for a list of local support services.