August 2018

Worle primary school deputy headteacher engaged in sex acts with boys online

A deputy headteacher who incited a child to commit a sex act online has been jailed.

Outwardly, David Jenkins was a hard-working teacher who had taught at Mead Vale Primary School in Worle for 18 years.

In reality he was a socially isolated man who led a fantasy life online, having sexualised chats with boys and making one perform a sexual act as he did so on camera.

When an investigation launched due to his contact with children via Facebook, it was established he had viewed child abuse images on his work laptop.

Jenkins, 54, of Hopefield in Newport, pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children, possessing extreme pornography and inciting boys to engage in or watch sexual activity.

He also admitted inciting a boy aged 13 to 15 to engage in penetrative sexual activity.

Judge Michael Longman jailed him for six-and-a-half years. He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely and is subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

The SHPO includes prohibitions on him having unsupervised contact with boys under 16 and loitering in the vicinity of any school, school playground or children’s club.

He told Jenkins: “It is likely to have caused consternation with the parents of the boys you came into contact with and a reaction from disappointment to outrage among colleagues, staff and the entire school community.”

Jenkins was told to register as a sex offender indefinitely, and handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order designed to stop him re-offending.

David Scutt, prosecuting, told Bristol Crown Court it was established Jenkins was involved in more than 100 Skype conversations with persons outside the UK, and 11 within the UK.

Three of these were boys with whom the teacher was established as having sexualised conversations with.

Jenkins was initially investigated after an informant using the school’s “whistle blower” policy reported concerns over his Facebook chats with youngsters.

As a result he was suspended in July, 2015, and it was found that his school laptop computer had contained images of children’s underwear, his commenting about being in a supermarket toilet waiting for someone to come in and photos and videos of himself masturbating.

A forensic examination of his laptop found he had viewed a relatively small number of child abuse images.

A total of 161 of these were deemed to be in the highest Category A abuse level.

There were also 57 images deemed to be in Category B and 153 deemed to be in Category C.

Police also found evidence of the teacher searching the web for subject matter such as “used underwear” and “gay boy chat”.

Analysis of his Skype chats, for which he used the name Gromit 2508, revealed sexualised conversations with boys.

Police were able to focus on three lads aged between 12 and 14.

One 14-year-old said he was in the process of discovering his sexuality when he chatted with Jenkins and talk quickly degenerated to sex chat and encouragement to commit a sex act.

A second lad said he thought of Jenkins’ attention as “weird”, while a third boy said: “I was only 14. I feel abused. I feel horrendous. I feel disgusting. I still feel sick.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “Jenkins was suspended by the school in July 2015 after it was found he was in contact with former pupils, on social media, in breach of school protocol.

“An internal investigation found indecent images on his school laptop and the matter was reported to police in October 2015. Officers found almost 300 indecent images of children on this laptop, of which more than half were the most serious category.

“Further forensic examination of the laptop showed that Jenkins had been in contact via Skype with boys under the age of 16 from across the country and that the exchanges had been sexual in nature.

“Jenkins resigned his post and left teaching prior to his arrest on Wednesday 16 December 2015.

“Further investigation led to the identification of three boys aged between 12 and 15 who confirmed they had been in online contact with ‘Gromit2508’ – Jenkins’ username – and said that he had exposed himself to them, performed indecent acts and encouraged the boys to do the same.

“In May 2018 following a thorough investigation Jenkins was charged with three counts of making indecent images, one of possessing extreme pornography, seven of causing/inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and six of causing a child to watch sexual activity/image of sexual activity.