A YOUTH worker who tried to groom a 14-year-old girl for sex has been jailed for nearly two years.
Alan Jenkins, who was a swimming instructor at Heston Pool and a youth development worker and special needs coordinator at Isleworth Explorers Club, arranged to meet what he thought was a schoolgirl at Richmond station on December 6 last year.
But the 'teenager', who he had spent the last month 'grooming' on the internet, turned out to be an undercover police officer.
When cops searched Jenkins' home in Mill Plat, Isleworth, they found more than 20 pornographic images and videos featuring children, some of whom were as young as three or four.
The 35-year-old admitted the grooming charge and four counts of possessing indecent images of children last month.
At Kingston Crown Court today (Friday March 19), he was given 16 months in prison for the first charge and six months, to run consecutively, for the others. He was also made subject to a sexual offences prevention order, banning him from working with children or owning a camera phone, or one with internet access, among other restrictions.
Sentencing him, Judge Fergus Mitchell said: "What's important in this case is what you had in mind, which was sex with a child aged 14. It doesn't matter that you were trapped by an internet investigator, who was there to catch people like yourself who pose a considerable threat to children. The word has to go out that people mustn't do this, whatever their desires."
Benedict Leonard, prosecuting, told the court how Jenkins got talking to the 'girl', who went by the name of Beth, on November 14, on the social networking site Multiply.
They spent the next few weeks chatting on that site and via MSN Messenger, before arranging to meet.
"During the course of November, the nature of the contact developed from him asking her what she liked doing to asking her what she was wearing in bed," said Mr Leonard. "When she said she was wearing her pyjamas, his response was that if he was with her they would be off."
He added that they arranged to meet at the station with the intention of having sex, only for Jenkins to discover it was a trap.
Andrew Mooney, defending, said Jenkins had no previous convictions and it was clear he had had 'real difficulties' with relationships throughout his life."He's an intensely local man and he had a position of some trust within the community that will be shattered," he added.
Jenkins was promoted to his post at Isleworth Explorers Club, a youth club in Twickenham Road, in 2004, after spending many years as a member and volunteer.
A spokesman for the club said Jenkins was fired as soon as it was made aware of the police investigation and none of the charges related to his work there.