A teacher has avoided jail after attempting to lure what he thought was an underage girl to his home while his wife worked night shifts as a carer.
James Ndungu, 45, also tried to lure a teenage girl to "pop into my classroom" and begged others for "kisses and cuddles”
The married father-of-two was caught out by vigilante paedophile hunters who set up fake online profiles posing as teenage girls.
In one WhatsApp message, Ndungu told the girl she was “sexy and gorgeous” and sent her a selfie of himself asking her to keep it private.
After the decoy girl told him she was just 14, Ndungu replied: “I’m okay with your age.”
In another message he told her a girl he loved her and wanted to meet her, adding she could go to his home "because my wife works nights".
Vigilante group Justice for Kids also set up a second fake profile of another 14-year-old girl.
A court heard Ndungu asked for pictures of her 13-year-old friend.
Ndungu, who was born in Kenya but moved to Worcester in 2000, admitted two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.
He also pleaded guilty to arranging the commission of a child sexual offence. All the offences took place last October.
He was handed a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years.
Judge James Burbidge QC told him: “You were then a school teacher. That is one of the bizarre and worrying aspects of the case.”
Ndungu left Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College in Worcester last November where he had worked for 15 years.
After the case, headteacher Greg McClarey said: “We are deeply appalled and dismayed by the behaviour of a former member of staff.
“We took immediate action when the school was alerted that a police investigation was underway concerning Mr Ndungu, implementing our safeguarding procedures and working closely with the Police and the Local Authority.
“Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College takes its safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and we regularly review our procedures to ensure the continued safety and well-being of our pupils.”
The Crown Prosecution Service last year issued guidance around the use of so-called vigilante groups.
They said: "Online child abuse activist groups( OCAGs) activity, whilst often well intentioned, has the potential to disrupt legitimate covert law enforcement activities.
It may be necessary for police forces to take action to intervene where these groups persist in their activity. The police also have concerns about the risks posed to individuals targeted by this activity, which may give rise to e.g. violence being perpetrated against suspects or suspects engaging in self-harm because of the online publicity generated by the OCAGs."