A TEEN primary school worker who badgered two 12-year-old girls to send him naked pictures of themselves has been spared jail

Charlie Bennett told one of the youngsters ‘we should meet up and do stuff’, after she finally gave in to his pestering and sent him a snap of her wearing just a bra.

The 19-year-old also sent the children pictures of his penis. He told one girl that her friend had sent him the image of herself as he asked her to do the same.

Despite a probation officer judging him to be highly likely to reoffend, a judge put Bennett on a three year community order - telling him it was not a soft option.

Rob Welling, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how Bennett’s activities were only uncovered when one of the girl’s parents was checking her daughter’s phone.

The mum was horrified to discover messages from the defendant, who was then 17, asking for pictures of her bottom and body.

“He was communicating with them through Snapchat or Instagram, initially friendly, then pressuring them for nude photographs of themselves," said Mr Welling.

“One succumbed to that pressure and sent a picture of her in bra.

"She described he kept going on and on. In the end she sent him one.”

Mr Welling said Bennett, who was a few weeks short of his 18th birthday, then told her: "We should meet up and do stuff." He also sent her picture of his penis.

Although the girl had told him she was 15, he said her mum insists she saw a message telling her true age and the defendant was aware both girls were 12-years-old

The other girl was also pestered for naked pictures and, though she instead sent him images from Pinterest, he sent her shots of his penis including one when it was erect.

When he was arrested he immediately admitted what he had done and blamed it on being a hormonal teenage boy, the court heard.

Mr Welling said: “At the time he was in employment at a primary school. I think he has now lost his job there.”

Bennett, of Austen Crescent, pleaded guilty to two counts of intentionally causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage on non-penetrative sexual activity in April 2018.

Tony Bignall, defending, said his client accepted he knew their ages but pointed out he was only 17 at the time of the offences, which took place over a three week period.

He said the probation report recommended an extensive programme that his client would not shirk from.

Passing sentence Judge Peter Crabtree said: “Some might say there is an element of grooming in the messages and contact you indulged in.”

While the probation service regarded him as "a high risk of sexual recidivism", he said he thought that "might be best described as pessimistic".

He said: “Probation believe you can be managed in the community and can work with you. A robust community order as a direct alternative to custody can be imposed.

“That is in the public interest and in the interest of young girls as well as your interest. It is not a soft option.”

He said he must complete a sex offenders programme, do 140 hours of unpaid work and abide by a sexual harm prevention order.

Bennett must also register as a sex offender.