A former teacher has been jailed for five years after being found guilty of abusing a teenage boy.

Gary Pearce, aged 40, of Ellenborough Road, was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on September 12 after being found guilty of grooming a child and engaging in sexual activity with a child on August 11.

Police were contacted by the parents of the boy, then aged 14, after they found messages of a sexual nature on his phone.

Officers were told that in the summer of 2012 the victim had been in contact with Pearce through the social networking app Grindr and despite the victim informing Pearce of his age, Pearce agreed to meet him.

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They met in a supermarket car park and Pearce took his victim back to his home and carried out sexual acts on him.

Afterwards Pearce took his victim back to the car park. They never met again.

Following police being informed, Pearce was arrested at his home on December 11, 2012.

Under interview Pearce claimed his victim had told him that he was of the age of consent but made no comment to all other questions put to him.

Pearce was charged on July 24, 2014.

Detective Constable Chris Hammond, the officer in the case for the Met Police's Sapphire command, said: "Despite being in a position of trust as a teacher Gary Pearce met the 14-year-old victim through the internet, then arranged and proceeded to meet him in person.

"The Met is dedicated to protecting young and vulnerable people and encourage victims to come forward where they will be fully supported by specially trained officers."

Detective Inspector Neal Burton, from the Sapphire command, said: "Pearce utilised the internet to manipulate the child into meeting him. This crime again shows the vulnerability of the internet and social media, which is used by paedophiles to meet their victims. This conviction will provide reassurance that we will relentlessly pursue those who commit these dreadful crimes against children."