Teacher who spent years taking pictures of schoolgirls' legs and skirts spared jail

Stephen Maloney had taken ‘upskirt’ images, a picture of a woman bending over while in shorts (file photo) (Alamy Stock Photo)
Stephen Maloney had taken ‘upskirt’ images, a picture of a woman bending over while in shorts (file photo) (Alamy Stock Photo)

A teacher at one of Britain’s top private schools who secretly took pictures of schoolgirls’ legs and skirts in classrooms and the assembly hall has been spared jail.

Stephen Maloney, 73, was reported to police in 2022 after he was caught masturbating during an online lesson with a student, and officers then uncovered his catalogue of perverted pictures from his time as a teacher at Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton.

Searches of his phone and laptop revealed pictures of the skirts and exposed legs of pupils at the £8,685-a-term private school.

Maloney had taken one ‘upskirt’ image of a girl’s underwear, as well as a picture of a woman bending over while in shorts.

Schoolgirls’ legs and skirts had been photographed by Maloney without their consent in the school assembly hall, during exams, and in the classrooms.

Kingston crown court heard Maloney had taken the images when he was employed as a teacher at the prestigious school, where former pupils include Hollywood actress Vanessa Kirby, late Radio One DJ Annie Nightingale, and Slow Horses star Saskia Reeves.

Founded in 1710, it is billed as “one of the top girls' schools in the country” and has pupils from the age of seven through to sixth form A Level students.

The criminal charges were dated from 2009 to 2017, but it is not known specifically when the images were taken.

Maloney, who lives in Selkirk Road, Twickenham, admitted sixcounts of outraging public decency as well as a charge of child cruelty, andwas sentenced to 11 months in prison suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to attend 40 days of rehabilitation and carry out 150 hours of community service.

The court was told Maloney’s offending emerged in March 2022 when he lowered his tracksuit bottoms and boxer shorts during a maths lesson over Zoom with a 15-year-old boy.

Maloney was seen touching his exposed penis, in an incident which was recorded by the boy and passed on to the Metropolitan Police.

A search of his electronic equipment revealed “inappropriate images which appeared to have been taken within a school environment”, the Met said.

Maloney was set to stand trial over the lesson incident, but pleaded guilty to child cruelty shortly after the prosecution had opened its case. He also pleaded guilty to outraging public decency over the images of schoolgirls taken without their consent.

Detective constable Fred Barlow from the Child Abuse Investigations Team said: “Maloney abused his position of trust as a teacher, his behaviour wasappalling.

“I hope that this result helps the victim and their family in their journey to recover and move on from this experience. I hope that this case will encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to the victim to have the confidence to speak to police and know that they have a voice.”

Maloney is now under a Sexual Harm Protection Order for the next five years.

Lady Eleanor Holles School has been contacted for comment.