A MEMBER of the Children's Panel has been jailed for 19 months for grooming teenage boys on social networking sites.

Brian McMenemy, 47, posed as a 17-year-old blonde female called Jade, befriended the boys on Facebook and Bebo, and asked them to carry out sordid sex acts over their webcams.

He was employed as deputy manager of the Stopover project, run by the charity Quarriers, that provided support for vulnerable people aged between 16 and 24. He was also a volunteer for the social work department as a support carer and provided care within his own home.

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McMenemy, of Glasgow, was caught when the mother of one of his victims found a chat log from MSN instant messenger and became suspicious.

He pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards a 13-year-old boy between July 2008 and July 2009.

He also admitted two charges of pretending to be a teenage girl and inducing two 14-year-old boys to carry out sex acts via a webcam and engage in sexually explicit conversations with them between January 2011 and February 2012.

And he admitted fraudulently talking to another male, by pretending to be Jade.

The court heard that in May 2011, McMenemy created a Facebook page in the name of a female called Jade and added a 14-year-old boy as a friend.

Procurator-fiscal depute Aline Devaney said they would talk for around 10 minutes each time they were online and the conversation soon turned to talking about sex. McMemeny would always initiate this.

On one occasion McMenemy asked the complainer to carry out a sex act on his webcam and he did, believing he was doing it for a 17-year-old girl.

In June 2011, McMenemy asked the boy to expose himself again on the camera but he refused.

The teenager's mother later found the chat log between her son and Jade and called police.

The email address linked with Facebook and MSN was traced to McMenemy's computer at his home. This led police to his three other victims – one he befriended on Bebo and two on Facebook.

Another 14-year-old boy had accepted a friend request on Facebook and soon after they also became friends on Skype.

McMenemy told the boy his webcam was not working, so they only spoke via typed messages.

The conversation again turned to sex and McMenemy asked the teenager to carry out a sex act via his webcam, which he did.

Mrs Devaney said: "The complainer became suspicious because the accused had claimed his webcam was broken, and also because Jade had so few pictures on Facebook, and deleted her from both his Facebook and Skype accounts."

Another Facebook friend of Jade was a male McMenemy knew and was caring for at the time.

There were no sexual conversations between them.

McMenemy contacted the 13-year-old boy via a Bebo account he had set up and they spoke via MSN.

The boy did not perform any sex acts or take any pictures of himself to send. Instead he sent a picture of a naked boy he downloaded from the internet to McMenemy before cutting off contact.

Passing sentence yesterday, Sheriff Martin Jones, QC, told McMenemy a custodial sentence was "appropriate".

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "All Panel members are subject to appropriate Disclosure-Scotland background checks prior to being fully appointed and do not have unsupervised access to children."