Trainee priest mutters ‘dear God’ after being caught trying to meet boy, 14, for sex
James Leigh has been jailed for a year.
A trainee priest muttered ‘dear God’ as he was caught by paedophile hunters after arranging to meet a 14-year-old boy for sex.
James Leigh thought he had been chatting to an underage boy on Grindr – but was in fact talking to members of the group Guardians of the North, who were posing as the youngster to lure in paedophiles.
During their conversations, Leigh sent an intimate photo and instructed the boy not to shower because he likes ‘sweaty teen lads’.
At the time of the meeting, the 30-year-old had been living in Newcastle with a Catholic priest, as part of his training for Newcastle in England.
He has now been jailed for a year after pleading guilty to attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.
The trainee priest immediately discovered the boy was underage.
Leigh quickly turned the conversation sexual.
Footage filmed by Guardians of the North shows Leigh initially denying coming to the car park at Gateshead Leisure Centre under the cover of darkness to meet a child for sex.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling said the learner clergyman had set up the profile under the name ‘Chris’ and was quickly told the boy was underage
Leigh asked the boy ‘what he felt comfortable doing’ and brought up the possibility of oral sex, the court was told.
Miss Dowling said: ‘He sent the boy a picture of his erect penis and asked the boy if he had any pictures of his penis.
‘The defendant said he liked sweaty teen lads.’
He said he likes ‘sweaty teen lads’.
Leigh was caught in a leisure centre car park.
He had been living with a priest at the time.
A bishop had prepared a reference to his ordinarily good character, which judge Mr Recorder Tahir Khan read at the sentencing hearing.
The judge said: ‘You sent a photo of yourself and it is clear from the communication that followed that you were clearly aware that the person you were engaging with was purporting to be a 14-year-old boy.
‘There was some discussion about the purpose of the meeting and, if there was any doubts as to what that was, you discussed the possibility that you might engage in oral sex.