Teaching assistant jailed after grooming former pupil through Instagram

Will Metcalfe
Contributor

A “predatory” teaching assistant who enticed a former pupil to perform sex acts on webcam after grooming him over Instagram has been jailed.

Twisted Carl Jones, 38, used the social media site to target the youngster before convincing him to send “highly graphic” explicit images.

A court heard how victim’s father alerted police after he discovered lewd messages between Jones and his son on Instagram.

Jones, who has worked with children for 20 years, was arrested and officers also found a stash of sick child abuse images on his phone.

Teaching assistant Carl Jones, 38, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after grooming a boy via Instagram. (SWNS)

He pleaded guilty to a total of seven offences, which also included pleasuring himself in front of the teenage boy online and possession of child sex abuse videos.

On Friday Jones was jailed for three-and-a-half years by a judge who branded him “truly disgusting” at Chester Crown Court.

Sentencing, Judge Steven Everett added that it was also “worrying” he managed to “slip under the radar” of education bosses.

He said: “These are terrible offences. You have done terrible things. You knew full well what you were doing.”

A general view of Chester Crown Court.

The court heard Jones and the boy met on one occasion outside a local supermarket but no physical contact took place.

Mandy Nepal, prosecuting, said Jones had told the complainant “you are amazing” and made references to school uniforms in their correspondence.

The boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told officers Jones had initiated the online exchanges.

Police forensic experts examined his phone and discovered 38 indecent images of children, including five at the worst category A.

These included four videos ranging from an 18-second clip of a child aged five being sexually abused to a two-minute movie involving a nine-year-old.

A victim impact statement by the boy focused on his anxiety about giving evidence in a trial – something that Jones spared him by pleading guilty.

Miss Nepal said: “He has started counselling sessions.”

Jo Maxwell, defending, said Jones was extremely remorseful and had shown empathy following his actions. He suffers with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

She told the court that his arrest had come as a relief as he could now address his sexual “predilections” and had been engaging well with counselling services.

The barrister also said there was no implication that Jones had ever abused his position as a teaching assistant to groom children.

Jones, of Boughton, Chester, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life and made subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

After the hearing, Detective Constable Victoria Hazlewood, of Cheshire Police, said: “I am delighted that Jones is now behind bars where he can no longer sexually exploit and pose a threat to boys.

“He took advantage of a boy he knew to be under the age of 16 for his own sexual gratification.

“This was a boy that had previously attended a school that Jones was working at as a teaching assistant.”