An assistant caretaker at a school in Tower Hamlets has been found guilty of possessing indecent images of children and perverting the course of justice after planting child pornography on a colleague’s laptop.
Neil Weiner, 39, framed his boss, Edward Thompson, 61, caretaker at Swanley School in Whitechapel, to get him sacked and win a promotion, the court heard.
Child pornography was found on the personal computer of Mr Thompson after the police received a CD and hand-written note, sent from Chelmsford, which purported to be a tip-off.
Mr Thompson told the Old Bailey he got ‘the fright of [his] life’ when he learnt that he had been accused of possessing the materials in 2006. He was immediately suspended from his job.
He said he was stunned when a “posse of coppers” turned up on his doorstep four months later to arrest him after more than 400 child pornography images were found on his £1,200 laptop. After the details of the accusations were published by the local press, he told the court that he had faced abuse in public. Mr Thompson said he and his wife, “were constantly abused in the streets by the locals because of my face being in the paper.”
Weiner, who joined the school in 2005, was said to be a ‘computer wizard’ who had previously worked in IT and believed himself to be as capable as the school’s head of department.
The court heard that Weiner had told friends Sandra Godfrey and friend Susan James of his plan to download child porn on to a CD and then place it on Thompson’s computer, before reporting him to the police.
Prosecutor Richard Milne said: ‘”Weiner planted child porn, indecent images, of almost the highest serious nature on his computer for no better reason than to get him sacked so that he, Weiner, could get promotion.”
The jury at the Old Bailey found Weiner guilty of perverting the course of justice and two counts of possessing child pornography by a majority verdict of ten to two in each case. He will be sentenced in September.
Thompson, who is married with two sons, said that he had immediately suspected that someone among his colleague of the attempt to frame him, because of his poor relationship with them. He described ‘[taking] the Micky’ out of Weiner, who he described as ‘childish,’ adding: “I have a reputation of being exceedingly grumpy, bad tempered and irascible – that’s what I am.”