Schoolteacher who used dating apps to groom boys as young as 14 is jailed
George Watkins, 31, covertly filmed his abuse and shared it with others. Credit: Met Police

A private school teacher who used dating apps to groom boys as young as 14 who he sexually abused while covertly recording has been jailed.

George Watkins, 31, sought out underage boys online who were gay but had not come out to their own families.

He’d message them on social media and dating apps including Grindr, using his charm, confidence and ability to manipulate to lure them into engaging in sexual activity.

Watkins, who worked as a teacher at a secondary school in north London, would secretly film the abuse and share it with others – something that would eventually result in his arrest.

An extensive investigation was triggered after an informant went to their local police station in January 2019 to report that Watkins had shared an explicit image of them without their consent.

They added that he appeared to have a predilection for males under the age of 16. This intel led to a series of police searches and five interviews with Watkins, with officers uncovering evidence of his abuse and over 450 indecent images of children.

Watkins, from Dunstable, pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court in January to a string of child sex offences and was sentenced at the same court yesterday to 11 years in prison.

In a statement read out in court, one of his victims, a 16-year-old boy, said: “When I reflect upon what Watkins did to me, and the fact a paedophile who was in a position of trust exploited me during a vulnerable moment of my life, I feel completely used and taken advantage of.

“The entire experience just doesn’t sit right with me mentally, and I feel physically sick just thinking about it.”

A 14-year-old boy said in his statement: “The fact that he used me for his own sexual gratification and did not seem to care about how I was doing at the time has made me feel used and exploited, and sub-human, as if my opinion did not matter at all.”

Watkins abused his 14-year-old victim on seven different occasions at locations including his own home, an Air BnB, and his car.

He also managed to convince his 16-year-old victim to commit and film sexual activity with a 13-year-old child in their own home, and to send the videos to him.

Investigating officer DCI Hardeep Kaur said: “This case should be a warning to the public, and in particular young people, of the risk in using dating apps.

“Such apps and sites can be used by paedophiles like Watkins. They manipulate and lie to vulnerable girls and boys for their own sexual gratification and as a gateway to committing horrific sexual offences.”

Watkins used his charm and ability to manipulate to lure underage boys into sexual activity. Credit: Met Police

DS Jules Manock said: “Watkins displayed an extreme arrogance over the course of our investigation into him, and showed no remorse whatsoever.”

DC Stefan Wimmer added: “Watkins was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, capable of winning the trust of vulnerable children in order to fulfil his disgusting, disturbing and despicable intentions towards them. It is the presence of individuals of this sort in society that reminds me of why I am employed as a police officer.”

DC Wimmer added: “I am aware that the victim-survivors want their experiences to be a warning to other young people, so I am sharing their message: Please take great care when interacting with people online, and ask yourself: which precautions am I taking to protect myself? Who exactly am I speaking to? And how trustworthy are they in actual fact?

“Please remember that dating apps are designed for adults and are not a safe space for young people to discover sex and sexuality.”

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