Former Physics lecturer admits sexual offences

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A former lecturer in the Department for Physics has pleaded guilty to committing nine sexual offences.

Dr Jeremy Allington-Smith, who worked as an astrophysicist for the University, admitted to offences that included following young women and using a mobile phone to film under their skirts.

Durham Crown Court was told that Allington-Smith, 59, outraged public decency by making the moving clips “almost exclusively” of unsuspecting women in short skirts over a five-year period.

When police raided his home in October 2015, they uncovered 300 images principally taken in Durham City Centre.

He also admitted to downloading 688 indecent still and moving images of children that depicted scenes of sexual violence and torture, between July 2008 and October 2015, alongside two similar charges relating to a further 2,453 indecent images.

Three charges relating to the possession of 1,818 prohibited images of children included images from a paedophilic manual that he owned. This manual gave information on how to sexually abuse children.

Allington-Smith further admitted to a charge of voyeurism relating to an incident in July 2013 when, “for the purposes of sexual gratification,” he recorded a woman engaged in a private act without her knowledge.

Allington-Smith denied the tenth count of attempting to take indecent photos of children in 2011.

The judge placed Allington-Smith on the sex offenders’ register with immediate effect and adjourned the case for sentencing to 20th January 2017.

He has since been granted bail. Dr Allington-Smith, a previously highly-respected member of Durham University’s staff, is no longer employed at the University and his staff profile has been deleted.

Photograph: Durham University

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