Beds, Herts & Bucks

Primary school teacher jailed over child sex offences

St Alban's Crown
Image caption The judge at St Albans Crown Court sentenced Nicholas Taylor to six years in jail

A primary school teacher who posed as a teenager to blackmail girls into sending him explicit images has been jailed for six years.

Nicholas Taylor, 27, of Barnet, north London, threatened to kill himself if they did not comply, a jury heard.

St Albans Crown Court was told that Taylor also forwarded pictures on to other children and girl guides - where he was a leader.

Judge Jonathan Carroll described him as every parent's "worst nightmare".

The court heard how Taylor, who taught at a south Hertfordshire school, pretended to be a 13 year-old boy on Instagram to befriend the girls, aged between 10 and 15.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Taylor posed as a teenager on social media site Instagram to incite girls to send him images

He then coerced them into sending naked pictures of themselves, which he forwarded to other children, the court heard.

Taylor also threatened to post the material online.

Prosecutor Peter Shaw said: "There was a threat to expose them to the public or those who would chance upon them on the Instagram site.

"Essentially a threat to humiliate and cause distress to those girls unless they complied with these requests for further images."

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Carroll said: "If ever there is a section of society that has placed into its hands the absolute trust of society, and of parents, to take and to mould and to develop our priceless assets of our young children, it is primary school teachers.

"The levels of abuse that you have sunk to simply beggars belief."

In impact statements provided to the court, the victims described how they had been left mistrusting of strangers on the internet.

At an earlier hearing, Taylor pleaded guilty to six counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, two counts of making indecent photographs of a child and one count distributing indecent photographs of a child.

He was also made subject to a lifetime sexual harm prevention order.

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