Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Isle of Man internet child sex teacher jailed

Queen Elizabeth II High School
Barefield is suspended from his job at Queen Elizabeth II school

An Isle of Man teacher who targeted young girls online has been jailed for 12 months for internet sex offences.

James Barefield, the head of English at Queen Elizabeth II High School, made a series of indecent remarks to what he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

But it later emerged that his victim was an undercover police officer.

Barefield pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child. He was sentenced on Wednesday.

'Unhealthy interest'

As well as the 12-month sentence, the teacher was disqualified from working with children and placed on the sex offenders' register for five years.

Det Insp Phil Shimmin, of Isle of Man Police, said: "I am satisfied with the sentence which has been imposed today.

"The most important outcome of this case is that Mr Barefield will no longer be able to work with children, in whom he clearly has an unhealthy sexual interest.

"This case clearly demonstrates that the criminal justice system will deal robustly with offences such as these, which are designed to protect children from offenders who use the internet to groom children."

Barefield is currently suspended from his post and is still subject to disciplinary proceedings.

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