A CHILD therapist has avoided a jail sentence despite trying to entice a 14-year-old girl to have sex with him.

Brian Pead, aged 56, of Days Lane, Sidcup, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in December of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was cleared of a second charge of indecent exposure.

In his defence, Pead claimed his contacts with the girl had been part of research for his job as a child counsellor with an agency in Hackney.

He has since been sacked.

Pead believed he was chatting on-line to a 14-year-old girl, and in a series of explicit conversations, offered her £300 to have sex with him.

But he had been caught in a police sting, and the teenager was actually a woman police officer.

Back at Southwark Crown Court last week, Pead was given a three-year community order under police supervision, with a condition he liaise with Bexley police’s Jigsaw Team, which manages sex offenders.

Pead was also put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.