School trainee charged with taking indecent pictures of children

A 19-year-old school trainee at a Lincoln village school has been charged with taking indecent pictures of children.

Lincolnshire Police wrote letters to parents and guardians of children attending the school, which were received on Wednesday, August 21, regarding the finalised police investigation.

*The Lincolnite is not naming the school due to legal constraints which could identify the victim(s).

Police received information from another law enforcement agency that Lewis Croft was suspected of downloading indecent images of children online.

He was identified as working on a temporary placement within a reception class at the school on a part-time basis since November 2018.

Police raided his home address on July 23, 2019 and seized electronic data devices. A number of illegal images were found.

The full circumstances relating to these images are still being investigated.

The taking of these images appears to have happened on three separate occasions between May 2019 and July this year, police said.

Croft, from Lincoln, appeared at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court during the morning of Wednesday, August 21.

He was charged with nine offences:

  • two counts of making a Category A indecent photo of a child
  • two counts of making a Category B indecent photo of a child
  • two counts of making a Category C indecent photo of a child
  • three counts of taking a Category C indecent photo of a child

He was remanded into custody to be sent to Lincoln Crown Court on a date yet to be set.

A co-ordinated effort was made by police on Wednesday, August 21 to ensure all parents/guardians of the identified child from the images have been updated in person by their investigation teams.

Those unable to be located are subject to continued follow-up attempts until police have spoken to everyone involved.

The police investigation has now concluded.

Police said in the letter: “I can reassure you a full review is underway to ensure the continued safety of all children attending the school.

“Safeguarding arrangements in the school are robust and the staff at the school are taking this incident seriously.”

In an attached letter, the school spoke of its “state of shock and disbelief at what has happened” and said “we can come together as a community to support each other and focus on the children returning to school in September as they move into their new classes.”