A TEENAGER who hacked into a Newport school's computer network was found to have indecent images of an underage girl on his computer when police raided his home.

The images were found on 19-year-old Leon Kenward's computer when police searched it after he hacked into Newport High School's computer network.

Kenward, from the Alway area of Newport, pleaded guilty to making a category C image of a child, possessing 16 category A images and four at category B.


He also accepted charges of unauthorised access to computer material and unauthorised modification of computer material.

On March 25, 2019, a member of staff at Newport High School was unable to access the school’s network, and it was discovered Kenward had accessed it from home, Newport Crown Court heard.

Kenward used the login of a teacher who was on maternity leave to gain unauthorised access to the school’s network on March 15, overnight on March 15-16, and on the afternoon of March 16.

“You had access to the network. It may have contained sensitive details,” said Judge Daniel Williams. “What you did when you had unrestricted access to the system is not known.”

Kenward was found to have indecent images of a 15-year-old girl on his computer after police raided his home in relation to the hack. Robert Morgan-Jones, defending, said Kenward was also 15 when the images were taken.

“It was an image taken many years ago,” said Judge Williams. “You had retained it, but I bear in mind your age at the time.”

He also possessed images which had been sent to him over social media, although Matthew Roberts, of the prosecution, noted the defendant's argument that he had not looked at the images.

The defence argued that although Kenward has “a level of expertise in computers,” he was “naïve” and had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

“He had a high level of ability but did not use it well. He was a young man of previous good character,” said Mr Morgan-Rogers.

The prosecution presented no evidence for the charge of causing a computer to perform a function with intent to secure/enable unauthorised access, so Judge Williams passed a not guilty verdict on that charge.

Kenward was sentenced to a community order for two years, and must complete an accredited programme requirement of 29 sessions. He must also complete 15 days rehabilitation requirement activity.

The defendant must register as a sex offender for five years, and has been made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for five years.

Kenward was also ordered to pay an £85 surcharge.