A FORMER headmaster from Eastbourne has been warned he faces jail for downloading hundreds of sickening images of children.
Hugh Simon Evers, known as Simon, was arrested after police found the disturbing pictures and videos on his computer.
They contained graphic images of children as young as three being sexually abused.
The 62-year-old, headteacher of a private school outside the area, who was seen as a pillar of the community in Eastbourne, appeared in court this week and admitted charges of making and possessing almost 400 images of children.
Magistrates at Chichester told Evers they did not have sufficient powers to sentence him and he will be sentenced by a judge at crown court in January.
Evers served on a panel which chooses local magistrates, did voluntary work at the Citizens Advice Bureau and was a voluntary member of the BBC’s Audience Council for the south east region which monitors broadcasting standards.
In court on Monday he pleaded guilty to six charges of making and possessing the indecent photographs. The court heard he downloaded the pictures and several video clips between January 2007 and April this year.
One file downloaded in July last year contained an indecent image of a child aged between three and four-years-old.
Most of the pictures and videos were classed as Level One images.
However, there were a small number of Level Four images, just one short of the most serious at Level Five.
Madeleine Priestley, defending, told magistrates they had enough powers to deal with the case and to sentence Evers to anything from a community order to 12 months in prison.
But they decided that the charges were so serious that Evers should be sentenced by a judge.
Mary Monnington, chairman of the bench, said, “Because of the seriousness of the material found on your computer and the age of the children involved we are sending this to the crown court.”
Evers was released on bail until he is sentenced at Chichester Crown Court on January 17.
After the hearing Evers’ profile on the BBC Audience Council’s website was removed and he has now resigned.
The CAB at Eastbourne said Evers stopped working as a volunteer when he was arrested. Manager Alan Burzon said, “Simon Evers is no longer volunteering here. He stopped volunteering in March.
A spokesperson at East Sussex County Council said, “Simon Evers worked at an independent school and has never been employed by the county council.”