Deputy headteacher jailed for indecent images and grooming children

Bristol Crown Court.

Bristol Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A former Weston-super-Mare deputy headteacher has been jailed after he groomed children via Skype and viewed indecent images online.

David Jenkins, aged 54, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to 17 offences.

Bristol Crown Court today heard how an investigation into Jenkins started at Mead Vale Primary School, where he worked for 18 years, in June 2015 over concerns he was contacting pupils via Facebook.

His work laptop was searched, and it became clear he had viewed indecent images of children, and spoken to young people over Skype, urging them to masturbate on camera and watch him do the same.

He was immediately suspended from the school when his offences came to light, and police did not find any evidence he had harmed children at Mead Vale.

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In total, 161 of the worst category of child abuse images were found on his laptop, along with 57 category B images and 153 from category C.

Prosecutor David Scutt said Jenkins, of Hopefield in Newport, groomed three UK boys over Skype, two aged 14 and one aged 12.

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Judge Michael Longman sentenced him to six-and-a-half years in prison. He will also remain on the sex offenders register, and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely.

The police officer in the case, DC David Cousins, said: “This is a case involving a man who was in a position of trust and authority as the deputy head of a school. His behaviour was predatory: he pretended to be a teenager to target boys at a vulnerable age, when they start to explore their sexuality.

“We’re grateful to his former school, whose staff and parents have been supportive and understanding throughout a lengthy investigation. We have not found evidence of offences against children personally known to Jenkins and none of the children in this case ever came into direct physical contact with him.”

* For the full story and reaction, pick up a copy of the Weston Mercury on September 6.

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