Teachers' assistant used Amazon vouchers to buy child abuse videos

A teachers’ assistant has admitted using Amazon vouchers to pay for child sex abuse videos he bought online.

Kevin Sheppard, 26, said he bought the footage from a seller between June and September 2018, sending them the gift vouchers worth £365 as payment.

Sheppard, who worked at Huxlow Science College, specifically requested a video of a 15-year-old girl from the seller, who is also under investigation, the National Crime Agency said.

He pleaded guilty in Northampton Magistrates’ Court to three counts of taking indecent images of children, and one count of requesting abuse material, between 2014 and 2019.

NCA detectives arrested him at his home in Kettering and seized his mobile phone and laptop.

Officers said they contained 127 child sexual abuse images and video – 46 pictures were considered to be in the ‘most severe’ category of abuse.

He admitted to being sexually attracted to young girls when questioned by police, the NCA said.

NCA operations manager Robbie Slater said: ‘Offenders like Sheppard who view indecent images fuel more and more sexual abuse of children.’

Huxlow Science College principal Steve Gordon added: ‘The safety of all students at our school is our highest priority and we have stringent procedures in place which have been fully complied with.

‘Immediately after his arrest, Mr Sheppard was no longer permitted to enter the school grounds and he resigned from his post.

‘We are reassured that the NCA investigation confirmed that no students or school equipment were involved in any of the offences.’

The NCA referred nearly 6,000 child sexual abuse cases to UK police forces since the start of lockdown on March 23 and July 19.

Sheppard will be sentenced on August 25.

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