Christopher Wood, 33, has been jailed for 15 months after he was found guilty of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, committed when he was a teacher
A chemistry teacher has been jailed for 15 months after he was found guilty of sending a pupil a naked picture of himself with a smiley-face emoji covering his genitals.
Christopher Wood, 33, has been convicted of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust.
Wood was also found guilty of causing a child to watch a sexual act but cleared of a similar charge relating to a second youngster by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court.
The trial had heard how all the charges related to his time as a teacher at a school in Solihull, West Midlands.
Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Mark Wall QC said Wood, whose wife has left him, had attracted the respect of many of those he worked with.
During his sentencing remarks, Judge Wall rejected Wood’s claim that internet searches relating to ‘inappropriate relationship’ conducted in 2009 were attempts to find out what would happen to teachers wrongly accused of misconduct.
The judge told Wood: ‘I recognise that through your own conduct and the verdicts of the jury you have now lost your good character, your profession and the respect of those who were unaware of the side of your character that the jury have heard about.
‘This exchange of images would have been completely unacceptable between any man in his 30s and an under-age girl – they are so much more so when one considers the position of trust that you were in.
‘You chose to send her a photograph which showed you being given oral sex.
‘You covered your private parts with electronic emoji stickers when you sent the images, but they left little to the imagination.
‘Your conduct is deserving of a prison sentence and I shall pass one on you.’
Wood, described in court as an ‘intelligent and sensitive’ man rated as outstanding by Ofsted, was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
During the trial, Wood was said to have showed the pupils pornographic pictures of himself with other women, including him being intimate with his wife.
Wood, previously from Dorridge, Solihull, but now from Tregaron in Ceredigion, Wales, had been working at the school since September 2015.
A jury at Birmingham Crown Court (pictured) today cleared Wood of a second charge of causing a child to watch a sexual activity and are still deliberating on a third similar charge
He had also allegedly made internet searches for phrases including ‘sex with teacher’ and ‘student, teacher and sex’ before he joined the school.
The prosecution said that because he was a teacher he breached the trust placed in him by sending naked pictures of himself to a student.
Michelle Heeley QC, prosecuting, told the jury how Wood had become very close to a female pupil and she and her friends would hang around the chemistry lab where the defendant worked.
Miss Heeley said that on Bonfire Night, Wood had ‘inappropriately’ given the girls Coke with Jack Daniels and on another occasion he had also taken vodka to the school.
Christopher Wood (pictured) sent a pupil a naked picture of himself while teaching at a school in Solihull
She claimed Wood and the girl became closer and began to communicate on Snapchat with the teacher using the tag, ‘I don’t give a f…..’.
‘In December 2015 the Crown say Wood sent this girl several pictures of himself semi naked,’ said Miss Heeley.
‘They had a discussion about whether she was fat and going to they gym and she sent pictures of herself wearing a towel.’
The prosecutor said Wood then sent a picture of himself fully naked apart from an emoji sticker and the teenager responded by sending one of herself topless.
The photos sent by the teacher then became even more sexually explicit and were seen by the girl and also some of her friends, said Miss Heeley.
She alleged these included the defendant engaged in sexual activity with other women, including his wife.
‘These were completely inappropriate images to be sent to a child,’ Miss Heeley said.
Jurors were also told on one occasion Wood had left his phone in a classroom and some of the pupils started looking through it.
‘The found pornographic pictures including those of his wife,’ said Miss Heeley.
‘Rather than stopping them looking at the phone, he had a discussion with them.’
Miss Heeley said police later examined the defendant’s computer and found images of girls in school uniform, posing with garters and ribbons on their thighs.
Wood, she said, had also made searches which included ‘inappropriate relationships’ before he joined the school.
‘It shows a sexual interest, an inappropriate interest in school girls,’ said Miss Heeley.