A DECISION on the future of a teacher who had thousands of images of children on his computer could be made in the next fortnight.

David Killinger, who works part-time at Swindon College but is suspended, pleaded guilty to six counts of making indecent images of children and one of possession.

He was given a three-year community order and told to register as a sex offender for five years.

But Judge Euan Ambrose, sitting at Swindon Crown Court, did not ban him from working from children. He said that the decision should be made by Killlinger’s employers at Swindon College.

Amanda Burnside, the college’s director of marketing and services to students, said: “David Killinger remains suspended from the college.

“An internal investigation is underway which will be concluded within 14 to 20 days at which point appropriate action will be taken.”

Killinger, 61, of Stanton St Quintin, had filed and stored more than 5,000 illicit pictures on his computer.

As well as the 5,135 pictures and one movie of girls on the cusp of puberty they also found more than 7,000 other pictures of children which fell short of being illegal.

His defence said he had been looking for images of a girl who looked like his wife when she was 17 or 18 and at the time of offending had been at a low ebb and on antidepressants.

His defence lawyer argued that many of the pictures were in thumbnail form and there was no suggestion that Killinger, who teaches people over 16 with learning difficulties, had been a risk to young people in the college.

Passing sentence the judge said: “The photographs are of children in sexually provocative poses. You have pleaded to seven counts.

“They are the tip of a much larger iceberg in that on your computer there were 5,000 similar images and indeed a great many more that fell short of a classification for an indecent image.”