A PERVERTED teacher, a NHS thief, an armed robber and a drug addict who stole from his own grandparents were among those who have appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

A FORMER deputy head of a primary school has avoided immediate custody after admitting watching vile child rape videos.

Richard Swinnerton had watched child sexual abuse on the dark web for two years before he was arrested by National Crime Agency officers at his home on May 15 this year.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 31-year-old would even watch the horrific videos while his wife and child were upstairs in his Middlesbrough home.

The Northern Echo: Richard SwinnertonRichard Swinnerton

Swinnerton - who has resigned from his job at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School in Middlesbrough – told officers he used TOR software (The Onion Router) to make himself anonymous on the dark web.

Swinnerton, of Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of indecent images when he appeared at magistrates' court.

Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced the former teacher to ten months in custody, suspended for two years.

Swinnerton was also ordered to carry out 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days and attend 27 days at a specialist programme for sex offenders.

He was given a ten-year sexual harm prevention order as well.

A CROOKED NHS worker has been warned his is facing more than three years in prison after admitting stealing laptops and selling them.

Neil Murthick stole 27 laptops, worth more than £12,000, while working as an agency worker in the IT department at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Initially, the 42-year-old was charged with theft of more than 40 computers but the prosecution had to take the word of a 'dishonest man' and only include the 27 he admitted stealing.

The Northern Echo: Darlington Memorial HospitalDarlington Memorial Hospital

The majority of the thefts took place when NHS staff were working tirelessly to combat the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.

Murthwick, of Inglewood Close, Darlington, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by employee when earlier appeared in magistrates' court and is due to sentenced at Teesside Crown Court tomorrow.

AN armed bank robber who left customers and staff fearing for their lives when he pointed a gun at them has been jailed for nine years.

Gavin Wilson robbed Barclays Bank of more than £15,000 after walking in wearing a balaclava, camouflage clothes and carrying an imitation handgun.

The Northern Echo: Gavin WilsonGavin Wilson

The 42-year-old ordered staff to put the money a bag he had brought with him before making his getaway from the bank in Hartlepool just after 10am on Friday, June 12.

Wilson, of Pinero Road, Hartlepool, admitted robbery, possessing an imitation firearm and possessing a small amount of cocaine.

Judge Howard Crowson said: “It is unsurprising that your victims treated that (gun) as a lethal weapon, and it’s clear that those in the bank feared they may be shot.

"Indeed that was your intention. You left customers and bank staff terrified and shaken.”

A COCAINE addict stole electrical goods from his own grandparents to sell to fund his habit.

Nathan Wright stole cameras, a laptop, electronic tablets and Kindles over a short period of time before trading them in for cash.

The 24-year-old's life spiralled out of control when he lost his job and drug dealers started to call in their debts, Teesside Crown Court heard.

In police interview, Wright, told officers that he owed money to a number of different people with one debt being for £800 to one person.

The thefts all occurred between January 20 and January 30 with the stolen goods being traded for cash at companies including CEX and Tyne Bargains in Middlesbrough.

Wright, of Bridge Street West, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to one charge of theft and three charges of fraud by false representation after selling the stolen goods.

Recorder Joanne Kidd sentenced Wright to 16-months in prison, suspended for two years.

She said: "You were in the best possible situation to understand how vulnerable they were. You have learned of the impact that you had on your grandparents and this is noteworthy, your grandfather still talks about you having a heart of gold.

"He has tried everything in his power to forgive you."

AN angry man who stabbed his victim in the back after he tried to stop him attacking his girlfriend has been jailed for six years.

Paul McArthur grabbed his partner by the hair before dragging her into his Darlington flat and assaulting her after he heard her call him a '****head'.

The 39-year-old then let her out of the flat before punching her in face while bystanders tried to intervene.

The Northern Echo: Paul McArthurPaul McArthur

McArthur, of Otley Terrace, Darlington, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent, possession of a bladed article, assault by beating and criminal damage following the incident on May 31.

Recorder Simon Kealey QC jailed McArthur for six years.

He said: "At one point she called you a ****head and this appears to be the trigger for the violence that then ensued."

A DRUNKEN yob who smashed up a COVID testing pod at a hospital during a burglary narrowly avoided a 'short, sharp, shock' in custody.

Bradley Burton was picked up by the police following reports of a distressed man who was 'crying and talking to himself' in a Darlington street.

The court heard how the 20-year-old shouted at one officer 'I will bit your f***ing boyfriend's nose off and spit it at you, you f***ing ugly slag'.

Officers were so concerned about his wellbeing that they took him to Darlington Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Burton was taken to hospital where he appeared calm and co-operative before again becoming agitated and abusive.

Security staff removed him from the hospital but he was later seen acting suspiciously near the Covid-testing pod in the hospital grounds.

Burton, of Martindale Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to burglary and being drunk and disorderly following the incident on May 8.

He was given a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.