A PRIMARY school teacher is set to lose his job after taking part in online chat in which he tried to persuade a 13-year-old girl to send him intimate pictures of herself.
Fortunately the requests by Timothy Lloyd, who is from Bromsgrove, could never have come to anything – because the girl did not exist, and the chat was part of an internet sting.
The disgraced teacher was then arrested after a group of men turned up shouting ‘paedophile’ outside his home late at night, while his wife and children were in bed, a judge has heard.
But Lloyd, 32, of Duggins Lane, Tile Hill, Coventry, at the time, escaped being jailed when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.
Instead Lloyd, who is currently back living with his parents in Bewell Head, Bromsgrove, was given a three-year community order and was ordered to take part in a sex offender’s programme and a rehabilitation activity.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC also ordered him to pay £425 costs and to register as a sex offender for 15 years, and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.
At the time Lloyd was working as a primary school teacher at Our Lady of the Assumption School in Tile Hill – where he is now due to face a disciplinary hearing and to be sacked.
Prosecutor Angus Robertson said that in July a man named Haggarty set up a chat room profile posing as a 13-year-old girl called Crystal and making a ‘group request.’
Lloyd, using the pseudonym Mark Franklin, responded and was told by Crystal that she was 13 and that he mother was a nurse who worked nights, sometimes leaving her at home alone.
“A few days later the defendant provided Crystal with his mobile number, and over the ensuing four months or so, online conversations were carried out between them.
“She regularly referred to the fact that she was 13 and went to school, and she later said she had just had her birthday and was now 14. Later in the conversation the defendant repeatedly asked for photographs.”
In fact the only picture sent to Lloyd was of an unknown girl’s face, with bare shoulders – but he sent intimate pictures of his genitals and bottom.
Judge Lockhart said: “There was no-one called Crystal, so Crystal could never have been harmed. This is a case of, at most, potential harm, had Crystal been a real person.”
After Lloyd disclosed he was to take part in the Birmingham half-marathon last month, Mr Haggarty worked out he would be travelling via Tile Hill station and planned to confront him there.
He changed his mind when he saw Lloyd was with his wife and children – but then turned up with others at Lloyd’s home at just after 11pm after following him there.
The police were contacted and Lloyd was then arrested and admitted communicating with ‘Crystal,’ claiming he believed from her profile picture that she was 15 or 16.
“He said he liked to have sexual conversations with others as a fantasy, but not for sexual gratification, and he agreed Crystal had told him she was 13 and then 14 years of age,” added Mr Robertson.
David Mason QC, defending, said: “It maybe Your Honour might take the view that the starting point could be a high-level community order.
“To send him to prison for a relatively short period of time would be utterly pointless, when there is a more constructive alternative.
“He will lose his job as a teacher. Amazingly, it has not happened yet. A hearing is set down for Tuesday of next week, and he is under no illusions that the school will sack him.
“His career is ruined because of this aberration earlier this year. That is the end of it, and quite rightly so.”
Mr Mason pointed out that, ironically, that is when Lloyd had been due to receive an increase in pay for his of performance as a teacher.
He said that since his arrest Lloyd has been undergoing therapy to address his problem, and has been apart from his family and living back with his parents.
Of the night of Lloyd’s arrest, Mr Mason said: “What happened was a group of men arrived at their doorstep at 11 at night, with his wife and children in bed, shouting ‘paedophile.’
“He was then filmed being arrested and that was placed on Facebook. While he deserves condemnation, he does not deserve that, and nor do his wife, who is a professional woman, or his parents, whose address was given.”
Sentencing Lloyd, Judge Lockhart told him: “You have chosen a life in the teaching profession, and you have learned about the safeguarding of children.
“But in the summer of this year you, with all of that, decided to go onto a chat room and, with a false name, you communicated with a person you thought was a 13-year-old female.
“You repeatedly asked for photographs, and sent a photograph of your genitals.
“You were arrested, and you were not entirely open about your motives. I am sure you were doing it for some form of sexual excitement.
“I have given this case some anxious consideration. I am just able to say in this case that I can shrink back from a custodial sentence. But if you breach this order, I reserve any breach to myself.”