Ex-PCSO David Mallard jailed for sexualised chats with girl, 13

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Bradford Crown Court
Image caption,
David Mallard, of Bingley, was jailed for 10 months at Bradford Crown Court after an undercover police operation

A former school teacher and Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) has been jailed following a covert police investigation into online child sexual exploitation.

David Mallard, 57, from Bingley, had believed he was chatting to a 13-year-old girl, but was in fact corresponding with West Yorkshire Police officers.

Mallard had a false profile and engaged in increasingly sexualised posts.

He was jailed for 10 months at Bradford Crown Court.

The court heard that over several weeks Mallard told the "child" that she was "a cool and sexy girl" and sent her a love poem in Spanish.

Judge Richard Mansell QC said Mallard had talked about "being under the stars", holding her close and kissing her passionately.

Mallard, who had previously worked as a secondary school teacher in West Yorkshire for 25 years and had also been a PCSO for the last two years, claimed that he had been using online chatrooms to overcome his feelings of sadness and loneliness due to difficulties in his marriage.

The judge said the parents of schoolchildren would be "horrified" to learn about his conviction and his work as a PCSO would also have potentially involved contact with teenage girls.

Barrister Holly Clegg, for Mallard, said he was ashamed and embarrassed by his actions which had resulted in him losing his job as a PCSO and his marriage breaking down.

Mallard had previously pleaded guilty to allegations of attempting to cause a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child under 16.

In addition to jailing Mallard for 10 months, Judge Mansell said he would have to sign on as sex offender for 10 years and comply with a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

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