A retired teacher from Haywards Heath has been sentenced for child sex offences after being snared in an online chatroom.
Tomos Humphereys, 64, admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child after being caught by an undercover operative.
Humphereys, of Kents Road, claimed through his lawyer that he had first joined the chatrooms because he wanted to 'research' what young people talk about nowadays, a court heard.
The father-of-two appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court today for sentencing for charges of: attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and making indecent photographs of a child (two counts).
The court heard that Humphereys began a lengthy career in education in 1990, working in ‘difficult and challenging schools’.
The social sciences teacher and later deputy head teacher retired from education in 2008.
His defence solicitor Christopher Maynard said: “He has lost his good character and good name, built up through decades of experience and good service to the education sector.
“During his entire teaching career there was not one single allegation of any kind of impropriety on his part.”
Mr Maynard said that after joining the chatrooms out of curiosity, it was a ‘slow and slippery slope’ for Humphereys.
He said that Humphereys has been seeing a psychotherapist and asked that he get credit for his guilty plea.
District judge Amanda Kelly said: “These are extremely serious offences and you of all people would have known that because you were involved in protecting young people from this sort of offending.”
However she told Humphereys she thought there was a ‘real possibility’ of him being rehabilitated.
Humphereys was given a six month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months.
He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and attend rehabilitation days.