A TEACHER who sent a naked picture of himself to a child has been jailed.

Michael White, 26, groomed a girl aged under 13 making inappropriate suggestions before sending the picture to her.

The former Tendring Technology College teacher admitted inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity after being caught and charged.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC condemned the actions of White, of Cotswold Road, Westcliff and jailed him for three years and four months at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Judge Goldstaub said: “"This matter has had a huge impact on the school as well as on the girl's family, it's had a serious effect and done a lot of harm.

"You abused the trust placed in you by the child's parents and the school, your employers, and anyone who does that can expect to go to prison."

White, now a telesales advisor, had been due to join another school but was instantly dismissed when the allegations were made.

Glenda Thompson, prosecuting, told the court on the days in question White spent ten hours sending messages to the girl, who is not identified for legal reasons, about what he wanted to do with her before sending the picture.

The girl’s mother checked her tablet and discovered what White had been doing.

The incident took place on March 27, 2014.

Cyrus Schrof, mitigating, said: "He's struggling to explain his behaviour, it was totally out of character - it came out without any warning whatsoever.

“He struggles to understand how he became engaged in such conversations. He's ruined his life - it was utter stupidity and foolishness."

Speaking after White was sentenced executive headteacher Caroline Haynes said: “By the time his behaviour came to light he had already resigned his post.

“However due to the vigilance of parents and staff, when we were made aware he was immediately dismissed.

For someone in his position to betray the trust of the children and his colleagues is an absolute disgrace and we will always act very swiftly with any adult who behaves in an inappropriate way towards children.”

White was also given a sexual harm prevention order for ten years banning him from specific contact with children and placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

White admitted inciting a girl aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity in January.

He was sentenced on February 1.

However an order was imposed banning the naming of the teacher or the school he worked at.

The Daily Gazette challenged this order.

Yesterday Judge Goldstaub QC accepted our submissions.

Gazette Editor James Wills said: “Despite requesting the opportunity to challenge the order before the judge at sentencing, this took place without prior notification.

“We were of the opinion such a ruling was legally questionable and we immediately wrote to the judge challenging it.

“The reporting restrictions were immediately lifted.

“Newspapers must always do their utmost to challenge such orders where it is believed they may be inappropriate.

“Only by doing so will we ensure the important principles of open justice and court reporting are maintained.”

“It is, however, entirely right the identity of victims in such cases are completely anonymous.”