A HISTORY student on a £90,000 government scholarship has been expelled from the University of York for child porn computer offences.

Jonathan Wong’s studies were financed by the Ministry of Education in Singapore so that he could become a teacher in his home country.

Now he faces a premature return in disgrace to the south-east Asian state with his life in ruins.

At York Crown Court yesterday his barrister, Nick Worsley, said Wong was likely to be looking for work as a labourer while his parents sold their house to pay back his scholarship.

Wong was given a six-month jail term suspended for two years, and was instantly expelled by the university.

Mr Worsley said: “He was a potential high-flier. He has been brought low by his own actions.”

Kirsten Mercer, prosecuting, said Wong’s downfall began when other students were so alarmed by audio files on the university’s intranet, they alerted the campus authorities.

The files were tracked down to Wong, and when police raided his campus accommodation, they found 55 child porn videos on his laptop and hard drive, nearly half of them hard core.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told him: “You acknowledge the images would be repugnant to all decent people.

“Your case and indeed your convictions, have generated considerable publicity in your own country. That will form part, in my judgement, of your punishment.”

Wong, 23, a former pupil of the prestigious Chinese High School in Singapore and who used to live at Goodricke College on the university campus, pleaded guilty in November to 17 child porn offences and was suspended by the university. He was in the UK on a student visa.

The judge gave him a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years on condition he underent eight months’ supervision.

The University of York issued a statement saying it was strongly committed to child safety and deplored child pornography and abuse.

The statement said: “It is a matter of great regret that a member of the university has been convicted of these criminal offences. On the recommendation of the vice-chancellor, University Council has permanently excluded Jonathan Wong on grounds of gross misconduct.” Wong’s tuition fees were £11,500 a year and he was in his third year. He also received a Singaporean maintenance grant.

Wong told police he had downloaded the child porn out of curiosity. Part of him found it disgusting, part of him became addicted, the court heard. He thought he had set up his laptop so the child porn would not reach the university intranet.

Past problems of disgraced ‘high-flier’

FORMER schoolmates of disgraced York undergraduate Jonathan Wong have claimed he had been in trouble with the Singaporean authorities when he was 15.

They told a Singaporean journalist that he was caned at school in the south-east Asian state for allegedly peeping at primary schoolgirls in a toilet.

But the incident did not stop Wong becoming a high-flier, and friends said he was “very smart” and “performed very well academically”.

He was a keen musician, playing the piano and guitar. At the University of York, he sang in a choral society.

His interests in history and art combined in his love of calligraphy of different eras A spokesman for Wong’s old school, then the Chinese High School in Singapore, now part of the Hwa Chong Institution, said after the caning, Wong was given counselling and responded well to professional help.

Teachers believed he had learned his lesson from the incident.