A WORRIED dad caught a former Scout leader and trainee teacher making sexual advances towards his son after keeping an eye on the teenager’s Facebook page.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, found explicit conversations between Christopher Pimm, 24, from Kelvedon Hatch, and the 15-year-old on the social networking site.
Pimm, who a court heard was a sailing instructor at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club, had previously admitted three counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
He had also admitted two counts of making indecent images and movies of children after police found documents on his computer.
All the incidents related to 2011 and involved Pimm becoming friends with three teenage boys, from Brentwood, Basildon and Ilford, on the social networking site.
Instead of immediately reporting his concerns to police, the father allowed the messages to continue under his supervision.
This eventually provided officers with enough evidence to arrest Pimm, Basildon Crown Court was told.
Prosecutor Richard Scott said that after Pimm’s arrest last year, similar approaches to two other boys, aged 13 and 14, were found.
Mr Scott added Pimm, of Great Fox Meadow, had met all three in person either before or after making the sexual approaches.
During the conversations, Pimm sent the boys internet links to adult pornography, questioned them about their sexuality and made lewd suggestions.
When his computer was seized, police discovered 851 pornographic images and videos of boys aged between eight and 15.
Peter Marshall, mitigating, described Pimm as a “vulnerable and fragile individual”, but accepted Pimm’s behaviour was wrong and he had set about getting help by attending pyscho-sexual counselling.
Pimm, who had no other convictions, avoided a prison sentence.
He was made the subject of a three-year community order, under which he will be supervised by the Probation Service and must complete a sex offenders’ programme.
He will also be on the sex offenders’ register and made the subject of a sexual offences’ prevention order for five years.
Det Con Rob Smallcombe, said: “The case against Pimm highlights the continued use of the internet to search and share images of child abuse or those who go online to approach children with a view to gaining sexual gratification.
“We wonder if Pimm stopped to think about the damage he did to those children while he sought sexual gratification, or how their lives are probably scarred for ever.
“Working with all professionals within the field of child protection, we are making a difference, promoting the welfare of children to protect them from harm.”
Nick Elmore, commodore of Thorpe Bay Yacht Club, said: “When we heard about the problems he was expelled by the general committee and parents were made aware by telephone and by e-mail.
“We have a lot of cadet members we need to protect and that’s why the action was taken so swiftly.” He said Pimm did not have a specific role, but had been a member since 2006.