JOHN Clarke was not the first teacher to have been convicted of downloading indecent images of children.

Judge Samuel Wiggs was at pains to explain why he was not sending Clarke to prison yesterday.

The public interest was, he said, one consideration. The public is unlikely to agree with his assessment.

The day after Rotherham, it is surely time to rethink the whole approach to sex offenders like Clarke.

Sentencing guidelines and toughening up punishment would be the first place to start.

Most people will never be able to understand why and how the likes of Clarke manage to avoid jail.