A former Saanich elementary school has been sentenced after he plead guilty to possession of child pornography last year.

37-year-old Travis Mitchell worked as a grade 4 and 5 teacher at Hillcrest Elementary school in Saanich and was a Boy and Girls club leader.

Mitchell pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography after a 12-year-old’s parents found inappropriate messages and pictures on their child’s cellphone.

Police arrested the former camp leader and seized his phone with over 500 sexualized images.

He will serve an 18-month conditional sentence and will be under a four-month nightly house arrest which prohibits him from attending public places where people under the age of 16 may be present (except with his sister), or communicating with people under the age of 16.

Mitchell was allegedly introduced to child pornography by a 39-year-old man of which he had his first sexual relationship with at 15-years-old.

In Judge Karina Sacca’s October 13th decision, she said that Mitchell’s early guilty plea, letters of support, and commitment to counselling, among other factors, led to the conditional sentence over a custodial sentence.

The judge noted that while Mitchell had a large collection of child pornography, the images were described as “animated” rather than real.

A 12-month probation order will follow his sentence and Mitchell will be listed as a designated sex offender for 10 years.

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