Who is Thomas David Ball? Teacher, 30, used spy camera to film student showering, watched ‘rape’ videos

Who is Thomas David Ball? Teacher, 30, used spy camera to film student showering, watched ‘rape’ videos
Thomas David Ball installed a spy camera in North Yorkshire school bathroom (North Yorkshire Police)

Thomas David Ball, a 30-year-old teacher at a top fee-paying school near York, has been jailed on charges of voyeurism after he was caught filming a pupil he was “infatuated” with using a spy camera that he bought on Amazon. The court documents reveal he filmed one of his male students when he was showering in the school bathroom. 

Ball has also been accused of “hunting” for social media snaps of the unnamed student and making “29 separate (Google) searches” for the boy before purchasing the spy camera on Amazon in 2018. Meanwhile, the police have reported that they recovered videos of children being raped, other "sickening" and explicit content from his tablet. 

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Who is David Ball and how did he get caught?

Ball reportedly held a senior role at Queen Ethelburga, an independent school located between York and Boroughbridge. Prosecutor in Ball’s case, Paul Newcombe, said that the teacher had installed the spy camera in the bathroom and told the boy, who had just returned from a registration to shower. While showering, the boy noticed wires hanging from beneath the sink with lights flickering from it. 

The victim, who trusted Ball, handed over the camera to him. Newcombe said Ball disposed of 15-minute video footage after taking it from the boy. However, the boy got suspicious and informed his mother about the incident. When confronted, Ball admitted to the school’s deputy safeguarding leader that he had made a “stupid mistake” and handed the camera to a staff member. 

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Police recover images and videos of children being 'raped'

The school reported the matter to the police and before they could arrive, Ball reportedly tried to “conceal evidence” by hiding a second spy camera, a tablet, and a memory stick in his car boot. 

The spy footage was eventually recovered from the devices and the police even found about 168 indecent images of children downloaded using a “peer-to-peer” file-sharing software.” Newcombe said, “The images (mainly) involved boys as young as 10 being sexually abused”. 

The judge on Ball’s case, Simon Hickey reportedly told him his offenses against the “vulnerable” boy were a “gross breach of trust”, before adding, “Parents expect their children to be looked after and not spied upon and filmed.” Ball has been jailed for 20 months before being released on license. He is also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. North Yorkshire Police Detective Constable Adam Fenwick said in a statement, “When the device was found he attempted to deny all offenses but thanks to extensive digital evidence, we were able to prove without a doubt that he had purchased and planted the camera.”

He added further, “He is a cold and calculating individual who carefully planned and premeditated his actions. He clearly poses a risk to young people and we hope his sentencing will give some closure to the victim and their family.”

Meanwhile, Queen Ethelburga confirmed that Ball has been terminated from his position. 

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