Last month Khaled Miah, of Belswains Lane, Hemel Hempstead pleaded guilty to attempting to cause a child to watch an image of sexual activity, two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and possessing two category C indecent images of a child.
The 40-year-old was living and working in Luton in November 2019 when he first used an online chat site to talk to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl.
He then began a conversation with her on WhatsApp, which included talking to her in a highly sexualised manner and sending her explicit sexual images and a video of himself.
He was arrested a few days later as a result of a proactive police operation from Bedfordshire Police and was released under investigation.
However, he was arrested for a second time in June 2020 when the Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team (ICAIT) discovered that he had been talking to someone he believed to be 12-years-old in the same way and using the same methods.
His phone was then seized and investigating officers found indecent images of children saved to cloud storage that was linked to Miah’s device.
Paul Baddeley, Investigating Officer from ICAIT said: “We are pleased that Miah received a custodial sentence and that he is being punished for the offences he committed.
“As a former teacher, he thought he was talking to children the same age as the pupils he once taught, and to be caught not once, but twice, clearly shows that he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.
“We benefited from working closely with the digital media investigation team, which was instrumental in securing the evidence from Miah’s phone.”
Baddeley added that the police had been dealing with a rise in similar incidents over the last few months as children have spent more time online.
Access to lots of FREE tools to help stabilise your business and start making up for lost time is just one newsletter sign up away. As part of our #IAmOpen community to help and support small businesses owners like you, you will get a regular newsletter from our journalists plus we’ll let you know how you can:
- get exclusive access to business webinars
- have a single-page website landing page made
- montage video created
- book an online marketing health check report and
- bag discounted advertising rates just made for our mates
What’s more, it’s all FREE. So sign up here right now. It’s very least we can do to back you, support you and just say THANK YOU.
The officer added: “This is a great opportunity for us to reiterate to parents how important it is to ensure their children know how to keep themselves safe online and to encourage them to tell someone if they have come across something online they don’t feel comfortable with.
“Any child can become the victim of grooming, no matter what their gender, ethnicity or background. If you think that this might be happening to you or someone you know then it’s important you speak out and tell someone you trust.”
Miah was sentenced to 16 months in prison at Luton Crown Court. He has also been added to the Sex Offenders Register and will be made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for ten years.
Anyone with concerns about child sexual abuse should report it to the police by calling 101.
Parents can also visit the Parents Protect website, which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which has a number of resources to help prevent online child sexual abuse. It also contains a list of organisations and resources focusing on keeping children safe in the digital world.
The NSPCC Share Aware website also contains advice and tips about how children can keep themselves safe online.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .