Online consultant groomed teens for sex
Simon Beard, 56, a consultant at the National Youth Agency, was caught red-handed in an undercover investigation by Sky News reporters who were looking into cases of men who attempted to groom children for sex.world Updated: Jul 10, 2010 10:01 IST
An online consultant whose job was to advise young people on their sexual development groomed teenagers for sex and was caught red-handed while arranging to meet a "trained" girl.
Simon Beard, 56, a consultant at the London National Youth Agency, was caught red-handed in an undercover investigation by Sky News reporters who were looking into cases of men who attempted to groom children for sex.
The reporters entered a teenage online chat room and posed as a 13-year-old girl called "Amy".
Beard arranged to meet the girl for sex at the Gunnersbury Tube Station in west London. He also attempted to incite the 13-year-old to engage in sexual activity as well as to cause the girl to watch a sexual act.
Beard was caught after the reporters passed a dossier of evidence, including film footage, to the Metropolitan Police.
Judge David Higgins at the Southwark Crown Court in central London ordered a pre-sentence report into the danger Beard posed to the public, saying he wanted a "proper opportunity to reflect on the true measure of his criminality".
Beard appeared via video link from Wandsworth Prison for the 20-minute plea.
Peter Zinner, for the prosecution, said Beard was "working for an organisation which effectively advised young people on their sexual development". Beard, a resident of Little Harrowden in Northamptonshire, was employed by the National Youth Agency in 2002 as a consultant. In his role, he advised and counselled young people and youth workers on sexual relationships.
Beard, however, denied a further charge of possessing 83 indecent images of children.