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Former teaching assistant jailed after admitting serious sexual offences involving children

A former teaching assistant from Stone has been jailed after admitting contacting young girls for indecent photos.

Stafford Crown Court heard Gregory Stanton, of Heathfield Avenue, was arrested at his home address last August after intelligence showed a man had been communicating with a 12-year-old girl asking her to send indecent images and videos of herself.

Detectives from Staffordshire Police's Child Protection and Exploitation Team (CPET) began a investigation and seized the 22-year-old's electronic devices. 

Stanton, a teaching assistant at the time the offences were committed, used social media and email to engage in conversations with victims who were aged between 12 and 14. 

Using false names, usernames and email addresses, he incited the victims to send indecent photographs of themselves to him. He also claimed to be recruiting for a modelling agency. 

He pleaded not guilty to all counts at a previous hearing on 22 February, but today (3 June) admitted making indecent photographs of a child, causing/inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity (penetrative) and causing/inciting a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity (no penetration). 

He has been sentenced to 11 years and four months behind bars.

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order has been imposed on Stanton for 10 years. He will also be required to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life. 

DS Steve Chadwick, from CPET said: "I hope the conviction of Stanton will offer some comfort to the victims who were manipulated. 

“The victims have shown great courage throughout the investigation. 

“I hope this conviction will provide reassurance to other victims of sexual offences, giving them the confidence to report, and the confidence that they will be believed and that police will do everything to bring offenders to justice.” 

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