Paedophile worked on County Durham school construction project before being found with indecent images

A paedophile who was caught with hundreds of indecent images worked on a school construction development before his crimes were exposed.

Peter Farnaby worked as a site manager on a project revamping a North East school for almost two years, Teesside Live has learned.

The 60-year-old was later snared by police who found hundreds of sick pictures on his computer – including over 130 of the most serious Category A pictures.

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However his interest in children wasn’t known when he landed the role with construction firm Kier.

The company was tasked with a multi-million pound upgrade of Bishop Barrington School, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

The school’s headteacher, Grant Sowerby, confirmed Farnaby, from Billingham, did work on the revamp but left months before his arrest last April.

“He finished working on the school by 2020, so it was well prior to any arrest or an investigation,” he told Teesside Live.

Police swooped last spring, seizing Farnaby’s electronic devices which were filled with images he had been producing during his time there.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard he’d started assembling his sordid stash from November 2018 until near his arrest.

However Teesside Live understands that his behaviour while on the job gave no cause for concern.

He passed DBS checks, while his role didn’t allow him an electronic pass which could have potentially given him less restricted access to the school grounds.

Peter Farnaby leaving Teesside Magistrates' Court
Peter Farnaby leaving Teesside Magistrates’ Court

It’s also understood there were no complaints relating to his conduct around pupils.

The head added: “The new school was planned and built, but the two sites were completely separate. He was never working on site where he wasn’t supervised.

“He was employed by Keir which has nothing to do with the school. The school does not go out to tender for who the organisation is that builds the school, that’s done through the Department of Education.”

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard the Bowes Road defendant was snared after pics were uploaded to the internet being linked to his email address.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child.

However he avoided immediate custody at Teesside Crown Court, with a judge suspending his year-long prison sentence for 18 months.

The defendant’s seized devices were destroyed while he must sign the Sex Offender’s register for a decade.

A Kier spokesperson added: “As a responsible employer, we require all direct and indirect Kier employees to undertake a DBS check when working on a live school project.

“As is standard when working in a live environment, the ex-employee in question didn’t have any access to the operational building without a school staff member present and they were not supplied with an electronic pass.

“We did not receive any complaints regarding this person’s conduct or behaviour during his time on site, which came to an end in April 2020.”

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