Former St Albans nursery school worker sentenced for sexual offences

St Albans Crown Court

St Albans Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A former nursery school staff member has been given a suspended prison sentence for attempted sexual offences involving a teenager.

Karl White, 26, of Marlborough Road, St Albans, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to incite a 14-year-old child to engage in a sexual act, one count of attempting to incite pornography with a child and one count of attempting to facilitate child sex offences.

He appeared in St Albans Crown Court for sentencing on Wednesday, March 8, and was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also given a rehabilitation order, a sexual harm prevention order, and will appear on the sex offenders register for seven years.

White worked at Busy Bees Nursery at St Albans City Hospital in Waverley Road, which was suspended for a day last year while Ofsted carried out an investigation.

Detective Sergeant Michael Birch said: “It is always going to be unsettling for parents for a nursery worker to be investigated and I’m full of praise for their patience whilst we establish exactly what happened.

“We worked with the local authority and the nursery to ensure our inquiry was thorough. Our investigation showed that there was nothing to suggest that any of the children at the nursery were inappropriately approached by White.

“The offences, for which he pleaded guilty, relate to a 14-year-old victim.

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“Unfortunately in this case innocent parties were targeted on social media and we want to ensure that it is understood by everyone that the only person identified of wrong doing in this matter was Karl White.”

White was arrested on April 20, 2016 by officers from the Child Online Safeguarding Team (COST), after he was identified by an adult posing as a 14-year-old girl online.

Det Sgt Birch said: “It’s always important to report cases at the earliest opportunity, so that there is no possibility of loss of evidence.

“I’d like to remind parents to supervise their children’s use online, especially in chat rooms. Officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team also work closely with schools to remind children that people are not always who they say they are and they could put themselves in danger.”