Ex-music teacher who sent indecent images to a 12-year-old girl set to be sentenced

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A FORMER teacher will be sentenced next month after admitting possessing indecent images of children and making indecent images.

Philip Cunningham, of Martinique Meadows, Bletchley, was caught with 12 indecent images of a young girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, Northampton Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

The court also heard Cunningham had sent the girl images of himself performing sex acts.

Cunningham, aged 40, is a former music teacher.

At a previous hearing, he pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of indecent pictures of a child, and two counts of making indecent images of a child.

The offences took place between October 1, 2011 and January 13 this year.

Cunningham was in possession of 11 images at level one, the lowest level of seriousness, and one image at level two.

He was due to be sentenced on Tuesday, but this was delayed after a lengthy legal debate.

Sentencing was delayed due to the issue of what penalty Judge Michael Fowler could hand down.

The prosection asked for a starting point of two years’ imprisonment, and the defence for a starting point of a community order.

Judge Michael Fowler said he could only sentence Cunningham on the matters he has been convicted of.

And Walter Bealby, mitigating, said he would oppose the prosecution asking the judge for the wider issues of the case to be taken into account when sentencing.

The case was adjourned and the sentencing will now take place next month.

Judge Fowler ordered that the case should be heard by a circuit judge.

Information on a book publisher’s website lists Cunningham as a father-of-two, a London College of Music graduate, and a published author who taught at schools in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.