'Grumpy' caretaker tells court of shock over child porn accusations

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A "grumpy" school caretaker told today of his shock at being wrongly arrested for having child porn on his computer.

Scots-born Eddie Thompson, 62, said he immediately suspected his colleagues of planting it because he was so hard to get along with.



Mr Thompson told the Old Bailey that he freely admitted he was not popular with staff and pupils at Swanlea secondary school, Whitechapel, east London.



Handyman Neil Weiner denies putting indecent images of children on his boss's laptop and sending a DVD to police in the hope he would get the sack.



Mr Thompson said of his relationship with colleagues: "It was not a good one. I have a reputation of being exceedingly grumpy, bad tempered and irascible - that's what I am."



Teachers who asked him to do things that could not be done "and who did silly things, I would give them a telling off".



He said: "I have a bad temper, I freely admit to that. It goes as quickly as it comes."



He had been pulled up about it by the school bursar and told to "mind my Ps and Qs" when talking to teachers.



Asked about Weiner, Mr Thompson said: "I took the Micky out of him. I felt he was childish and would sulk."



In 2006 when the allegations were made, Mr Thompson said he had intended to work a further nine years before retiring as the premises manager.



But he had made it known that he did not think his deputy was up to the job, and he did not think much of Weiner's work either.









Mr Thompson said he was at home in the grounds of the school in October 2006 when he heard banging on the iron gates.



He said: "I opened up the door and there was this posse of coppers.



"They took me to Limehouse police station. I was arrested. I have never been in such a horrible place."



He said he was released on bail but it was eight months until he was told no further action would be taken.



He was suspended by the school and it was not until four months after his arrest that he was told child porn had been found on his school laptop.



Mr Thompson said: "I got the fright of my life when they told me there were many hundreds of images on the computer."



His wife stood by him but they were abused in the street by people.



"Some rat phoned up the local paper and my face was spread all over the front page, much to my detriment," he said.



Mr Thompson said he and his wife, who have two sons, led a quiet life without many friends or callers visiting them. The arrest had a serious effect on their health.



Weiner, 39, of Dagenham, east London, denies perverting justice and two counts of possessing indecent images of children.