Khaled Miah, of Belswains Lane, 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 at an earlier court hearing.
Today (Monday) he was sentenced at Luton Crown Court to 16 months in prison.
In addition, he will be added to the Sex Offenders Register, and will be made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for ten years.
Miah was living and working in Luton in November 2019, when he first used an online chat site to talk to someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.
He took her number and began a conversation with her on WhatsApp; 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 proactive police operation and was released under investigation.
He was then 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 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.
“We are dealing with more and more online grooming and child sex offences, especially over the last few months, with children spending more time online and predators have used this opportunity to target them.
“Usually these offenders try and encourage the victims to meet them in real life – thankfully it wasn’t the case in this situation – but shows just how easily this could happen.
“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.”
To report concerns around child sexual abuse, call police on 101.
Parents can visit the Parents Protect website, which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, for lots of useful 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.
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