School handyman faces jail over child porn plot

A handyman who ruined a school caretaker's life by planting child pornography on his computer faces jail today for perverting the course of justice.

Neil Weiner launched the "wickedly evil and vile plot" hoping to get Eddie Thompson sacked so that he could be promoted.

He sent police a CD containing 177 indecent images of children saying they had come from Mr Thompson's laptop, the Old Bailey heard.

A further 235 pictures were later found on the computer and the caretaker was arrested in 2006.

He told police he had been set up by colleagues who did not like him but it was eight months before he was told no further action would be taken.

When the allegations were made public, he and his wife became afraid to leave the house, after he received threats and they were spat at in public.

Even when he returned from suspension to Swanlea secondary school, in Whitechapel, east London, where he had worked since 1993, Mr Thompson said he was shunned by "almost all" of the staff, making his life "almost unbearable".

"My life and good name was nearly destroyed by a villain who tried to destroy my reputation in a monstrous manner. This must be the work of a depraved mind," said the caretaker, now 62, in a victim impact statement read to the court.

Jurors heard that Weiner - said to be a computer "wizard" - was arrested in 2007 after a mobile used to make the initial anonymous call was traced to him.

Richard Milne, prosecuting, said the child pornography on Scots-born Mr Thompson's computer was planted by Weiner "for no better reason than to get him the sack so that he could get promotion, and because he did not like him".

Some of the child pornography images were level 4, the second most serious.

Mr Milne said: "He was being fitted up or framed on his computer."

Married father-of-two Weiner, 39, of Dagenham, east London, was convicted of perverting the course of justice and two counts of possessing indecent images of children, each by a majority of 10-2.

He was placed on the sex offenders' register and remanded in custody, and warned by Judge David Paget that he faced a "substantial custodial sentence" when he returns to the court on September 23.

The judge told him: "I don't suppose you have the slightest idea of what your actions have done to that good and honest man.

"As you ponder the long sentence you receive you may like to consider that you will now be treated as a sex offender.

"No doubt the prison population being the fair-minded people they are, you will experience the sort of vilification that Mr Thompson has received of people who believe you are a paedophile.

"I don't suppose you are a paedophile any more than Mr Thompson is but that is what you have done by polluting the streams of justice."

The judge told Weiner he had ruined not just his victim's life but his own and that of his wife and two children, who would now "be thought to have a paedophile for a father".

"It is as serious an offence of its kind as I personally have ever come across," the judge added.



Mr Thompson added: "Even to the present day on occasion I still have to suffer the scorn and disdain of members of the local community and there remains an element of apprehension in working in the area."



The caretaker, who was in court to hear his statement read out, added: "Now that the truth has come out, perhaps my wife and I can have closure on this dreadful episode of our life."