A MARRIED Uttoxeter teacher who ‘groomed’ a pupil for sexually explicit internet and webcam chats has been jailed for 15 months.
Craig Lindsay ‘flattered and complimented’ the girl before going on to exchange a mass of internet messages, a lot of them sexual.
It led ultimately to Lindsay performing a sex act in front of a webcam with the girl watching, Stafford Crown Court heard.
The chat went on for months, but was only discovered on the girl’s laptop computer a couple of years later.
Lindsay, aged 37, of Demontfort Way, Uttoxeter, admitted inciting a child to sexual activity and sexual activity in the presence of a child.
Sending him to prison, Judge Michael Challinor told Lindsay the sentence had to be a deterrent.
He said: “This kind of sexual abuse damages the integrity of our school system. Parents must be able to trust teachers to deal with their children appropriately.
“You were a teacher and it’s clear you began to groom her for your own purposes when she was 14. You knew she was vulnerable and by a number of devices, flattery and subterfuge, you drew her in to this sexual activity.
“There was no penetrative sexual activity — she has suffered some psychological harm by reason of the discovery, the humiliation of the investigation by family and the police.
“Her introduction to a sexual relationship was not normal — it was with you, a 37-year-old married man.” Nick Smith, prosecuting, said Lindsay, a former teacher at Thomas Alleyne’s School in Uttoxeter, first took an interest in the girl when she was about 14.
She was 16 or 17 when the sexual internet chat began. His messages included suggestive comments about the girl’s appearance and clothing.
“He said he was going to be thinking rude thoughts about her and what he would like to do to her. On quite a few occasions he performed a sexual act in front of the computer.” Andy Easteal, defending, said: “This conduct all took place online, it never involved any physical proximity.
“They both knew and understood it to be a fanciful series of exchanges and messages, none of the things that were discussed were embarked upon.”
Mr Easteal said Lindsay, a married man with two young children, had been ‘an exceptional teacher’, but his conduct with this girl had been ‘embarrassing and cringeworthy.’ “He is blessed by the support of his family and friends.”
Lindsay would never be able to work as a teacher again, or to work with children at all, Mr Easteal said. He added that his life was now ‘a complete shipwreck’.