Yorkshire assistant head teacher admits to horrific haul of THOUSANDS of child abuse images

​Gareth Mellor

Gareth Mellor, 43, was sacked following his arrest

Tom Fredericks

By Tom Fredericks

Published: 08/11/2023

- 16:24

Updated: 08/11/2023

- 16:56

Gareth Mellor was tracked down by National Crime Agency investigators

An assistant head teacher from Yorkshire has admitted making over 11,500 images and videos of child abuse.

Gareth Mellor, 43, was also the safeguarding lead at the school he worked at in Wakefield.

He was tracked down by National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators after making a Bitcoin payment for indecent images of children via an encrypted cloud storage service.

The NCA found that his email address had been used to set up accounts on other sites in an attempt to acquire child abuse material.

In May 2021, officers arrested Mellor at his home and seized a number of his devices. His phone had cryptocurrency applications installed on it, as well as files associated with the storage platform.

Officers downloaded the contents of his two cloud storage accounts, and a forensic analysis revealed more than 11,500 indecent images and videos of children.

The images were mainly of teenage girls.

It’s understood none of the images related to children at the school where he worked.

Danielle Pownall, NCA Operations Manager, said: “Gareth Mellor worked with children nearly every day and was entrusted to protect them.

“This investigation showed that he deeply betrayed this trust through amassing a huge collection of material showing the horrific abuse of children.

“Despite his attempts to conceal his activities by using cryptocurrency and encrypted storage services, this investigation was able to identify him as a committed buyer and consumer of child abuse material.

“The NCA is committed to tackling this criminality in all its forms, breaking the chain of supply and demand and protecting children from the most harmful offenders.”

Mellor was sacked by the school following his arrest. He is due to be sentenced next month at Leeds Crown Court.

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