September 2022

Headteacher asked more than 100 boys for naked pictures in sick Facebook chats

A headteacher messaged more than 100 boys on Facebook asking for naked pictures before claiming that his account had been hacked.

Nick Clayton, from Hoylake, held lewd chats with children aged as young as 10 while working as the principal of a British international school in Iraq.

His campaign of grooming only ended when police swooped to arrest him at an airport.

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, that the 38-year-old contacted the profiles of 131 boys – mostly based in South Asia – over a three-month period in 2017 in order to “solicit” indecent images of the youngsters.

Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting, described how the conversations also showed “evidence of travelling to meet children” – although Clayton was only charged in connection with attempts to groom four teens.

These chats involved a 12-year-old boy from Cambodia, a 13-year-old in Indonesia, a child aged 14 from the Philippines and a 16-year-old in Sri Lanka.

The paedophile “bribed them with gifts” before demanding sick photographs, telling one: “You have a camera on your phone, it’s your turn now.”

When the boy did not send him images, Clayton said: “I’m impatient now, you are just taking advantage. You need me, but you keep your body private.”

Clayton – of Charles Road – asked his victim to erase the chat logs afterwards, having also offered a 16-year-old “travel and sponsorship”.

He then contacted Facebook claiming that he had noticed months of “unusual activity” on his account – which he later deleted – and claimed he had been hacked.

The disgraced teacher was arrested at an airport in October 2017 as he flew back into the UK.

Martine Snowdon, defending, described how her client was now living with his mum at their Wirral home and had acted as her carer.

Clayton, who was supported by his parents and sister in the public gallery, admitted three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child and one of attempting to incite the sexual exploitation of a child.

Sentencing him to 20 months in prison, Recorder Ian Harris said: “The communications were predatory, persistent and repulsive.

“You sought to exploit young males and corrupt them. All of this was for your own sexual gratification.”

Clayton was handed a 15-year sexual harm prevention order and told to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years. He must also pay a victim surcharge.