back to article School caretaker jailed for fitting up colleague

A school caretaker has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for a "wickedly evil and vile plot" to get a workmate sacked by putting child sex abuse images on his laptop. Neil Weiner, 40, put images on fellow caretaker Eddie Thompson's laptop and sent a CD of images to police which he claimed to have found on his workmate's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Weiner by name weiner by nature

    What a vile little Charlie Uniform November Tango. With a name like Weiner, he will find plenty of gainful employment in prison.

  2. smeddy

    "He will also be put on the Sex Offenders Register"

    I just realised I've got to stop telling people I'm on The Register...

    1. DryBones

      Darn it...

      I think I just woke people up with mad laughter. Damn ye!

  3. The Indomitable Gall


    Now this Weiner guy definitely needs banged up -- his actions were dispicable and criminal -- but I'm a bit wary of the posession of images charges here. Isn't that legislation aimed at paedos? But no-one's suggesting for a minute that this man is a paedo.

    Also, the clearest sign of a witch-hunt mentality is when people accuse others of being witches just because they don't like them.

    1. Ragarath

      A title is as title does

      "Isn't that legislation aimed at paedos?"

      Well urm how do you think he got the said images? He must of frequented certain sites or even worse made them himself. How do you prove you are not a paedo when in possession of such images?

    2. Brangdon

      @The Indomitable Gall

      The legislation isn't aimed at paedos. For example, it also catches people who are just curious, or doing unofficial research.

      If this chap paid for the porn - which seems quite possible if he had a lot of it - the money may have encouraged the producers to abuse more children. Even if he didn't pay, he'd have been creating the appearance of demand and supported the view that it's relatively widespread and normal. (Or so the logic goes - I'm not saying I agree.)

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Paedophilia Isn't A Crime

      "I'm a bit wary of the posession of images charges here. Isn't that legislation aimed at paedos?"

      Vanessa George wasn't a "paedo", either.

      It's not paedophilia that's a crime, but the possession of indecent photographs of children that's the crime. Doesn't matter whether you're a paedophile or not. If you possess indecent photographs of children, that's a crime, regardless of whether or not you get off on them. If you're a paedophile, but don't possess any such photographs, and don't abuse any children or commit any other crimes, then you're not a criminal.

      Don't confuse paedophilia with abuse. Paedophilia is the sexual preference for prepubescent children, while abuse consists of acts. Confusing paedophilia with abuse is part of the "witch-hunt mentality" you're referring to.

      I'd rather not be raped by someone who likes rape, but abstains from raping, than get raped by someone who doesn't enjoy it but rapes anyway.

      We shouldn't be criminalising paedophiles who abstain from abuse. We should criminalise abusers whether they're paedophiles or not.

      Neil Weiner exploited child sex abuse in order to deprive someone else of his rights.

    4. Ed Deckard


      IANAL, but from what I understand a person's sexual preference for the underaged are not in and of themselves outlawed, the possession of images of abuse are.

      "Yes, he's been found in possession of 500 grams of brown heroin but he's not a junkie so it's okay."

      1. Scorchio!!


        Thought crime is not yet illegal, and one good reason why is because some thoughts are beyond the thinker's internal control however much they refrain from acting on them in the physical world.

        In fact the M'Naghten rules are now by and large bypassed for many thinks. For example, in stalking cases the basis for prosecution is that there is a course of conduct, behaviour, such that a victim is put in fear (emotional discomfort) as a result of the harassers behaviour.

        In the case of a substance user/possessor it's clear; they possessed the material in the real world. Had they merely fantasized about it, used a legal alternative (tobacco, alcohol, extreme sports, exercise regime) that would have been fine.

    5. Graham Marsden

      @The Indomitable Gall

      But it doesn't *matter* whether the guy is a paedophile or not, it's simply possessing (oh, sorry, isn't that "making", since he "made" the images by downloading them, didn't he?) which is enough to get you branded as a witch, err, sorry, paedophile...

    6. Anonymous Coward

      Isn't that legislation aimed at paedos?

      Officially no. The pictures are illegal, it's that simple. Of course in practice you're right, people caught with illegal pictures of children will almost invariably claim they had them for "research" or something of the sort, as if that makes it alright, regardless of what the law says. And oddly enough, courts seem to give some weight to that when it appears credible.

      Which is strange, because of course "being a paedo" is not a crime. So why exactly it's more harmful for a paedophile to have the pictures than a "researcher" I can't say. On the other hand, I can definitely say I would rather they be in the hands of either a paedo or a researcher than a guy who intends to frame me. So perhaps that explains why this creep was dealt with so severely.

      I wish there was a totally logical explanation for all this, but I fear that once you reach the place were merely possessing an image is a crime you're already well beyond anything grounded firmly in rationality.

    7. Scorchio!!


      All people in possession of child abuse images/similar are, on prosecution, placed on the register if only because their acts have contributed to the sum total. In this instance the individual added to the demand for such images.

      As to the witch hunt mentality, this has been going on for years in our country and the US; McMartin preschool, Wenatchee in the US (many more of them); Orkney/Shetland islands, Newcastle, Broxtowe and others in the UK. Very often it's because christian social workers think that devil worshippers are abusing children in pursuit of serving the cloven hoofed master. In point of fact the devil is a fiction of christian making, a way of tainting pre-existing religions and beliefs (e.g., in Hern).

      However, you are correct. A witch hunt mentality has come to these islands, and it was not helped by the last government.

  4. david wilson

    12 years?

    So 12 years for that, probably rather longer than the victim could have ended up serving.

    Nothing obviously wrong with that, since the victim would also have been branded a sex offender, lost their job, and quite possibly have lost family, house, future career, etc

    I eagerly wait to see something remotely similar happen the next time someone makes provably false rape claims.

    I wonder how long a wait that will be.

    1. Scorchio!!

      False accusations of rape

      I have other examples, but this is perhaps the most egregious since the 'punishment' did not fit the crime:

      1. Maryland, USA

        Error 404?


        Here in the colonies, your URL is a link to nowhere. Can you double-check it?

        1. Scorchio!!


          That is odd, and there's no .htm? suffix on the link, but it works here. Google's cache to the rescue:

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Anomalous Cowturd

    Yet others get a slapped wrist for killing and maiming...

    The two drunken squaddies who kicked the crap out of my mate, nearly killing him, got two years. Because of their previously clean records.

    As if that makes it OK!

    My mate now has three titanium plates in his head, is nearly blind in one eye, and still suffers nightmares over ten years later...

    British justice. I shit it!

    1. Elmer Phud

      Now now,

      You know as well as I do that almost killing people isn't as bad as fake or real kiddie fiddling in the eyes of the tabloid public.

      That and squaddies are doing 'thier bit' being mindfucked elsewhere for a few years before being chucked out on the heap and ignored - they'll end up inside anyway. The courts will make allowances as boozed up thugs are only 'letting off steam'. We made 'em, we make excuses for them then send them back out again.

      The collective guilt of the Great British Public seems to make it O.K. - think of all the money we've wasted if we don't send them back out again.

  7. irish donkey

    what a bastard!

    For once thank god the Police were on the ball.

    But just goes to show how easy it is for some ones good name to be destroyed. The quetion now would be would he now fail an eCRb on the basis of soft evidence.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      On the ball? Your kidding right?

      It took them 8 MONTHS to stop prosecuting him. I'd hardly call that "on the ball"...

  8. Lottie

    I only wish

    that newspapers would make such a big deal of the innocent guy being totally innocent.

    1. andy gibson

      Most definetly.

      Accused of a nasty crime? Named and front paged.

      Cleared? You might get a small mention on page 15.

      1. Alan Swartz

        Page 15

        Your paper still has 15 pages!

    2. lglethal Silver badge

      Im dreaming i know but...

      ... I would love to see it made law that if a newspaper/tv program/any media outlet outs someone BEFORE a trial and it turns out that they were innocent, then the medai outlet should have to donate the EXACT amount of column inches on the exact same page (or screen time at the same time in the show) as the orignal outing took up, in order to declare the person innocent and apologise for the defamation against them...

      That would go some way to correcting the situation... It'll never happen though...

      1. David Pollard

        @ glethal

        Though I agree with the sentiment, an equal measure may not be sufficient. It can often take considerably more effort to stop a false rumour than to start one.

  9. Tom Chiverton 1


    So he would have got away with it if only he'd used a single-shot PAYG mobile payed for in cash ? Reassuring. Not.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    You can get less than that for rape

    I'm all for sending him down, but 12 years? Something is clearly askew in the justice system here.

    1. MadonnaC

      I agree

      Rape should be a much harsher sentence. When will a court ever impose the maximum sentence for rape - life ?

  11. Christoph

    How many times has it worked?

    "The judge told the court the plot had very nearly worked."

    A bungling amateur managed to very nearly get away with it.

    So haw many people *have* got away with it? How many of their victims are in a jail or a cemetery?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "soft evidence"

    By "soft evidence" they really mean rumour, innuendo and malicious gossip, right?

    As for this case, I'm actually quite shocked and that rarely happens.

  13. Tzael

    Good riddance

    What a complete twat. Why do people feel the need to resort to sabotage instead of simply doing better at their job, or dare I say it, work harder to be a better person...

  14. Samuel Walker

    This is a title

    "Even after charges were dropped and he returned to working at the school, Thompson said he was ignored by most staff."

    This to me, sums up the problem with accusations of this type being printed before they are found guilty. It doesn't matter, to most people, that he was found innocent, and indeed was the victim of a malicious campaign against him, the merest accusation has tarred his life forever.

  15. moonface
    Big Brother

    Lucky for victim that plot was not wickedly evil enough!

    Glad this scumbag got a large jail term. However he only got caught, as he went to extreme lengths in trying to get the guy set up. i.e. contacting the police, press, etc. Obviously, if someone is dobbing someone in, then it’s the Police’s duty to investigate the informer and their intentions.

    The crime of just having illegal content on your computer, is just asking for trouble and innocent victims. What happens when the perpetrator is far more wickedly evil and untraceable by their actions? i.e. accessing the victim’s computer and email account to ‘accidentally’ email out images or just wait for an opportunity when the machine is due for upgrade or repair by 3rd parties.

    The real wickedly evil and vile plots, are when you can get a unconnected 3rd party to inform on your victim.

  16. Michael 47
    Big Brother

    Shouldn't really be on the sex offenders register

    I'm not really sure he should be on the sex offenders register. What he did was wrong, no doubt, and he should be severly punished for trying to ruin someones life. However, it's not like he is a peadophile, preying on children. He downloaded the images to get someone fired (at least as far as we're aware). It just dilutes the seriousness of the list, defeating the purpose somewhat. Its getting to the point where people do get put on for some stupid things.

    BB...Cos they want us all on a list

    1. Lamont Cranston

      "Your honour,

      "I downloaded all of that kiddie smut, but I didn't enjoy it."

      Yeah, I'm glad that didn't wash.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        @Lamont Cranston

        ""I downloaded all of that kiddie smut, but I didn't enjoy it."

        Yeah, I'm glad that didn't wash."

        But who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

    2. Stratman


      If you have in you posession images of child pornography for any reason, you have contributed to the demand for those pictures, and hence the assaults on the children in them.

      For that reason alone, twelve years of being rogered mercilessly by big hairy feckers and having to play the landing supremo's pink oboe on demand is still too good for him.

    3. Pablo
      Thumb Down

      Not a paedo

      Oh well, that's okay then. No, actually it's not. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of sex offender registry, but it is not now, and never has been, a "peadophile registry". Granted it often seems to be treated as if it were, and sometimes people even call it that, but it isn't. It's a list of people who committed sex crimes. Possessing sexually explicit pictures of children is considered a sex crime, so there you go.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    I'm all for sending this scumbag down

    although I think even rapists are getting less that 12 years these days...

  18. Dr Insanity

    Just deserts

    It's good to see Weiner got his comeuppance, it would be great to see this story spread far and wide to clear Thompson's name completely so people realise that he's not that person, and he can put his life back to normal.

    The most worrying part is that it almost worked, how many more people are going to try something like this?

    1. david wilson

      @Dr Insantity

      >>"The most worrying part is that it almost worked, how many more people are going to try something like this?"

      I guess they might have to try a different way of drawing attention to the victim.

      Plod may be more suspicious of future anonymous tip-offs, especially if a case was such that it wasn't clear how anyone else could easily have known.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    "My life and good name was nearly destroyed by a villain who tried to destroy my reputation in a monstrous manner,"

    sure he's not a drama teacher?

  20. David 39
    Thumb Down

    a nearly

    Bofh, a bit more training needed, i never got caught

  21. JaitcH

    Guess the Plod doesn't like the competition

    This guy was in the wrong business, he should have joined the Plod.

    The problem with British justice is the 'justice' part - too many nobodies on the lowest echelons making appeal business for the higher courts. Too many judges accept evidence from the Plod without questioning it's validity.

  22. Pierson

    Twelve Years...

    One reason he got twelve years, more than e.g. a typical rapist, is the nature of his crime.

    This guy tried to run a cart and horses through the legal system, attempting to subvert it to his own ends.

    So, the court has given him a sentence that reflects at least what his intended victim would have got, had the plot succeeded (and it very nearly did), plus a few extra years to make it quite clear that his behaviour is totally unacceptable - with the current assinnine vigilante mentality in this country, he's lucky that his victim didn't end up dead or seriously injured at the hands of some belming knuckle draggers from the local sink estate.

    And yes, the SOR *is* appropriate for him, given the nature of his crime and the materials he used in its commission.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    it used to be the Butler......that did it...?

    Now the Caretakers are the ones to watch-out for.

    Soham, etc....

    EPIC fail anyway both for him and the Police CRB...

    remember kids when fixing ur teacher up... always use rubber gloves and a face mask, that way you dont leave your DNA or finger prints as evidence on the PC!!!

    and if your gonna mess about like that, at least use a PE bootdisk so you dont leave registry entries for forensics to find later.... muppets!

  24. lotus49

    Not dramatic

    The consequences (as others have pointed out) of being accused of offences such as this are appalling. People have lost their jobs, had their marriages and friendships destroyed and even lost access to their children because of accusations like this.

    I don't think he was being overly dramatic at all. The whole story is a shocking reminder of how may people think there's no smoke without fire.

    To those that think the perp should not be required to sign the Sex Offenders Register, the offence of possession of child pornography is (quite rightly in my view) and offence of absolute liability. It doesn't matter why you have them and in any event, possessing such images because you want to destroy someone else's life just so you can get one rung higher up on a small ladder is barely any better than because you are a paedophile.

  25. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Presumption of innocence...?

    Not for the poor bastard who had his name spread all over the papers so the lynch mob started sharpening their scythes and lighting flaming torches.

    This is just another example of why the accused should be allowed anonymity in cases like this. You can bet that even now he's been acquitted, there are still idiots who will be saying "well, there's no smoke without fire" (even if the fire was set by someone else...) and refusing to have anything to do with him.

  26. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    So is the world of professional school cartaking *that* competitive?

    Or is this guy just a psychopath who feels *any* behavior is acceptable if it's needed to get what he wants?

    In which case 12 years is actually probably quite reasonable and I suspect he'll probably either kill someone inside or be killed (it's a fairly subtle nuance between setting up someone as collector of CP and *being* a collector of CP, which seem pretty unpopular with regular prison inmates).

  27. Bounty

    More details next time por favor.

    I'm still a little lost as to how the correct person was convicted. So what if Weiner made an anonymous call to the cops that his co-worker had child porn? Then took a CD he found and mailed it to the cops. I mean, it kinda sounds like someone trying to report someone with child porn to me. Is there an article out somewhere with more details, like the cops finding porn on Weiners PC's at home, or on his cell phone or something? Were the timestamps on Thomson's computer suspect?

    nevermind, found it "He then told former lover Sandra Godfrey and friend Susan James that he was going to put child porn on Mr Thompson's computer before reporting him."

    1. PsychicMonkey

      not to mention

      the bit in the article that says they traced his phone.....

  28. Scorchio!!


    And the moral of the story is that good security should be second nature. No one gets on my machinery, ever.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Could have been worse...

    he might have planted terrorism related material on the victim's machine as well, causing far more damage.

    I agree, papers should publish "found innocent" on the front page when they have previously "outed" people for offences which later turned out to be false accusations.

    AC, because the scumbag will be wired up to it very shortly methinks...

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