Thomas Singleton: Head of primary school possessed 'pedophile manual', a million images of child abuse
FRAMLINGHAM, UK: The head of a primary school who was found to have a collection of child abuse materials, including a paedophile manual and more than a million images of child abuse, was sentenced to six years in prison. Thomas Singleton, 41, was also a safeguarding lead at the school in Suffolk.
The National Crime Agency detained him in February 2021 after discovering that he had viewed pornographic photographs of minors from his home.
When the NCA investigated his house in Framlingham, Suffolk, they discovered a large collection of disturbing objects on his computers and other devices.
These contained a number of terrifying edited pictures that Singleton had made by putting himself in photos in order to make it appear as though he was having sex with kids.
Officers raided his residence and confiscated many digital storage devices as well as computers. In addition, they found a toddler-sized doll, baby and young kid apparel, and a silicone sex object designed to imitate a child's genitalia.
Moreover, a 170-page paedophile manual titled "How To Practice Child Love" was found on Singleton's hard drive. It had chapters with tips and instructions on how to sexually assault children covertly.
There were 1,050,448 indecent images of children in Singleton's collection, 45,216 prohibited images of children, and 52 extreme pornographic images.
The officers found several internet conversation logs in which Singleton discussed child sexual assault with other like-minded people. There were some chats in which he participated in 'age play,' in which both users pretend to be children engaging in sexual activity with each other.
Some of the flowcharts were kept in a folder called "Tom's Action Folder". It contained hand-drawn flow charts linked to documents describing child abuse scenarios, which could be personalised with the names of the victims.
Singleton resigned from his position as a teacher during the investigation. The charges against him included taking indecent pseudo-images of a child (categories A-B), making indecent images (categories A-C), and possessing a paedophile manual.
Ipswich Crown Court sentenced him to six years in prison on 13 October, Friday after he pleaded guilty to all charges. In addition, he has been placed on the indefinite Sex Offender Register and has a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
“As a safeguarding lead and the head of a primary school, Singleton supposedly represented a dependable figure of safety and trust for young children, their families and the school community," NCA operations manager Michael Parkinson said. “This investigation showed he grossly abused that position. His house was filled with a large, disturbing collection of items which proved beyond doubt his sexual interest in children. Of particular concern was an extensive paedophile manual which offered explicit, practical guidance on how to carry out abuse. This case highlights how an offender’s behaviour can escalate, from downloading abuse material to finding a community of like-minded individuals online who normalise and even encourage this criminal behaviour," Parkinson added, according to NCA.