A Bristol teacher who viewed an indecent image of a child via Snapchat and then deleted his account to cover his tracks has been banned from the profession for life.
William Nunn, a science teacher at Cotham School, received the photo from someone who had offered to share vile images of youngsters on social media site Reddit.
He later claimed his intention was to “entrap” the person who sent it but he failed to report it to the authorities, deleted the app and kept changing his story to the point that he eventually admitted all allegations.
A Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) panel found that Nunn’s conduct amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute. He was banned from teaching indefinitely with no review period and cannot apply to re-enter the profession.
The TRA’s report, published on June 9, said the 29-year-old added the individual he saw on Reddit as a friend on Snapchat in August 2020, which the panel believed was in response to a request from Nunn for their username, and the person then sent him an indecent image.
It said the teacher viewed and then immediately deleted both his account and the photo from his phone.
“The panel believed that the discussion between Nunn and the individual who offered to send the indecent image was moved on to Snapchat to utilise a platform that enabled their communications to be deleted without trace, therefore increasing the possibility that he would not be detected and his actions could be concealed,” the report said.“Nunn’s actions were deliberate and calculating in this regard.”
Avon & Somerset Police child protection officers visited the school on March 24, 2021, and interviewed Nunn under caution at a police station. They seized several of his devices and the teacher was suspended from the school the following day.
In May police told the school they were taking no further action because they could not retrieve the image and there was no other evidence of indecent images on Nunn’s equipment.
Cotham School launched its own investigation and dismissed the teacher in July before referring the matter to the TRA.
The report said: “The panel was in no doubt that Nunn was deliberately dishonest in interviews in an attempt to cover his tracks.”
It said the panel considered the teacher’s statement of reflection, explanation and mitigation in which he told them he understood the severity of the allegations and did not wish to excuse them.
“The panel did however note that Nunn did not appear to demonstrate any concern for the individual in the photograph and appeared more concerned with the impact on himself,” it said.
The case was held in private on May 30 without a full hearing after a request from Nunn who signed a statement of agreed facts and admitted the allegations.
Nunn joined the school in September 2017.
A Cotham School spokesperson said: “We were shocked to learn of this matter and, although it had nothing to do with the school beyond our being this individual’s employer, we acted immediately and decisively in line with our stringent safeguarding procedures as soon as it was brought to our attention by the police.
“We welcome the TRA panel’s decision.”
By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service