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School caretaker spared jail for sending girl explicit photos
9:00am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A former school caretaker who sent sexually explicit pictures of himself to a teenage girl he had befriended on a social network site has been given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Alan Hawkins, 64, of Consort Street, Skipton, who also received images of the teenage girl who was in foster care, was also sentenced to a two year community order with two years’ supervision.
He must attend the sex offenders treatment programme and must spend five years on a sex offenders prevention order which involves regular reporting to the police. He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs.
He returned to Skipton Magistrates’ Court for sentence after pleading guilty, last month, to intentionally causing a child aged 14 to look at an image of a person engaged in sexual activity between March 11 and March 29, 2012. He also admitted to possessing an indecent photograph of a child between March 29 and April 12, 2012.
At that appearance he was placed on the sex offenders register.
The bench heard he sent pictures of himself and also received images of the girl he had met through the Qeep mobile phone social networking application.
He believed she was 16 years old, when in fact she was two years younger.
She knew him as Alan and that he was a cleaner and they continued the relationship after she was moved to a foster home and despite telling him she was only in Year 10 at school.
He sent five text images of himself performing a sexual act on himself and she sent him two images of her naked breasts. Hawkins also sent the girl £35 for her to top up her mobile phone account.
However, after her foster carer saw an image on the mobile, she called in social services and Hawkins was traced and his laptop and mobile phone seized.
When interviewed, Hawkins said he chatted with other women on networking sites because his wife was not well and his home life was unsatisfactory.
John Mewies, for Hawkins, said was a “totally and utterly broken man” and, despite everything, his wife, who was disabled, was standing by him.
“This has had a traumatic effect on his life and he has suffered mental health problems and on two occasions attempted to take his own life, once by taking an overdose of tablets and the other time by throwing himself under a moving vehicle.”
The images were at the lowest level one in seriousness and there had never been any intention by Hawkins for the relationship to become physical.
Mr Mewies stressed that in his job as a caretaker at a local primary school he had not had contact with children and had now been dismissed.