Former school teacher jailed for downloading indecent images of children at his Bourne home

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court
  • Downloaded a total of 3,381 images over five years

A former secondary school teacher who downloaded hundreds of indecent images of children was today (Friday) jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Denis Bresnahan, who has recently been working as a private tutor, also took indecent photographs of a child himself and distributed images over the internet to other web users.

He decided he would self-medicate by using pornography. He started using legal pornography before moving into illegal pornography

Prosecutor Lisa Hardy

Bresnahan set up a number of fake internet accounts using false profile pictures which he used to participate in sexualised chat.

Bresnahan (67), formerly of Bourne, but now of Houghton Court, Billingborough, admitted three charges of making a total of 3,381 indecent images of children over a five year period up to January this year.

He also admitted distributing and making indecent images of a child, possession of a prohibited image and possession of 131 extreme images.

Recorder John Hardy QC described Bresnahan as “depraved”.

Lisa Hardy, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Bresnahan’s internet usage was brought to the attention of police and his then-home in Heartsease Way, Bourne, was raided.

Mrs Hardy said: “When the police explained what they were there for he said he might know something of the allegations.”

A computer tower, a lap top and a memory stick were all later examined and the 3,381 indecent images of children were found. These included 907 of the most serious type of which 432 were films.

Mrs Hardy said Bresnahan used a variety of fake internet profiles including that of a middle-aged woman, teenaged girl, younger girls and a young boy.

“Examination of his Skype account showed that he was in communication with a number of other internet users and was sharing and distributing indecent images with others.

“He was arrested and interviewed. He was asked questions about his Skype accounts and sexualised chats over Skype and he made no comment.”

Michael Phillips, in mitigation, said: “It is about as low he can get. My client is nearly 70 years old and of previous good character.

“He has had a variety of jobs over the course of his life. He was a teacher at a secondary school teaching general science for 15 years. Latterly he has worked as a private tutor for many, many years. It is to his credit that there has never been any suggestion of impropriety.”

He said that Bresnahan suffered from a lack of libido as a result of a medical problem and although he was prescribed medication he turned to pornography.

Mr Phillips said: “He decided he would self-medicate by using pornography. He started using legal pornography before moving into illegal pornography. He started frequenting chatrooms. He was pretending to be a teenage girl in conversations with other people. His stimulation was in engaging in depraved chat with people online. He retired in 2015. That led to an increase in his use of pornography and his use of chatrooms.”

He told the court that Bresnahan stopped using pornography following his arrest and has since sought counselling.