PICTURE: Sheffield school worker jailed for child grooming

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This is the man locked up for child grooming offences committed while he worked at a Sheffield school.

Michael Fletcher-Flint, aged 48, worked as the ‘premises manager’ at Outwood Academy City in Stradbroke when his offending came to light.

Michael Fletcher-Flint

Michael Fletcher-Flint

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He was jailed for two years at Sheffield Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempting to engage a child in sexual communication and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

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Fletcher-Flint, of Bonet Lane, Brinsworth, Rotherham, also admitted having an article with a blade or a point when he was arrested.

The offences took place between August 2, and September 11, 2018.

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He was caught in an operation where he thought was messaging a 12-year-old boy called ‘Liam’, but in fact he was communicating with an undercover police officer through the dating app Grindr.

Fletcher-Flint, who was suspended when the police investigation into his offending was launched, sent indecent images to the ‘child’ he was messaging and arranged to meet him at Asda at Crystal Peaks but was arrested by an officer instead.

He used the name ‘Hung and Horny’ on Grindr and was tracked by the police using the app in a number of locations, including his home as well as at the school where he worked.

Zaiban Alam, prosecuting, told the court his conversation with the child was ‘very explicit’ and of a ‘sexual nature’ despite being told that ‘Liam’ was only 12.

When arrested, Fletcher-Flint said to officers: “I wasn’t going to do anything.”

Representing him, Emma Hodgson said his behaviour was ‘out of character’.

She added: “He presents as someone who is deeply ashamed of his behaviour and racked with remorse and regret.”

Sentencing him, Judge Michael Slater said: “Whilst it’s true that you weren’t involved in teaching the children, you were employed with a responsibility to ensure they came to no harm, rather than seeking out children on the internet for sexual purposes.”

In a letter to parents with children at Outwood Academy City, Principal Andrew Downing stressed that none of the pupils at the school were involved.

Fletcher-Flint was suspended from his post at the school following his arrest and has now been sacked.

He will not be able to work in schools again following his release from prison.

Mr Downing’s letter said: “We have worked closely with the police and other agencies since his arrest and we terminated his employment at the earliest opportunity.

“He has not been at the academy since his arrest and is no longer employed by our Trust.

“We will refer his file to the Disclosure and Barring Service and he will be unable to work in schools when he comes out of prison.”

He added: “Whilst we understand and share your concerns, we wish to assure you that at no time were children at the academy at risk in relation to the charges that he has been convicted of.

“At Outwood Grange Academies Trust we take the safeguarding of all students very seriously and will continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and the wider community.”