A teacher who was caught ‘sexting’ a boy after the victim’s horrified mother discovered the messages on his phone has been jailed.

Syed Raza abused his position of trust by buying his young victim gifts including a mobile phone, which was discovered by the victim’s mother.

After looking through the phone she found a number of graphic sexual messages, which officers said had been sent by the 46-year-old teacher to the boy in Raza’s predatory campaign.

Police were alerted by the pupil’s distressed mother, when her son told her Raza had bought him the phone as a gift.

Raza was arrested and charged in December 2017, and pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child at Luton Crown Court in November 2018.

The teacher from Luton, Bedfordshire, was jailed for 14 months and will also be the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 10 years, which has conditions attached that he must adhere to following his release.

A spokesman for Bedforshire Police said Raza was arrested and charged in December 2017, after an electronic device was found by the victim’s mother and when she asked her son, he said it was a gift from Raza.

A number of explicit messages were found on the phone from Raza and the police were immediately alerted.

Detective Constable Zac Kozlowski, who investigated the case, said: ‘I am pleased that Raza received a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to this offence as he deliberately took advantage of a child by abusing his position of trust as a teacher by buying him gifts.

‘I hope that this sentence will serve as a warning to other predators who think this type of behaviour is acceptable.

‘Many children and young people don’t understand that they have been the victim of grooming or that it is abuse. Luckily in this case, the victim’s mother discovered what was happening before it could escalate in something more sinister.

‘Any child can become the victim of grooming, no matter what their sex, ethnicity or background. If you think that this might be happening to you or someone you know then it’s important you speak out and tell someone you trust.’

A spokesman said: ‘The signs of grooming aren’t always obvious and groomers will often go to great lengths not to be identified.

‘If a child is being groomed they may:

– be very secretive, including about what they are doing online,

– have older boyfriends or girlfriends,

– go to unusual places to meet friends,

– have new things such as clothes or mobile phones that they can’t or won’t explain,

– have access to drugs and alcohol.