July 2017

Paedophile social worker struck off over “double life” posing as woman online

A former Liverpool council social worker was struck off after he was caught with hundreds of indecent images of children as young as four.

David Stacey previously worked with vulnerable disabled people in Tuebrook for the city council for seven years, but was arrested at home in February last year.

He pleaded guilty to making indecent photos or pseudo-photos of children, possession of prohibited images and possession of indecent images of children for distribution at Liverpool crown court.

He avoided jail with an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years and 150 hours of unpaid work, and was ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for 10 years.

Now a tribunal has found his crimes are “wholly incompatible” with his profession, striking him off the social work register to prevent him returning to the job.

Stacey had also pretended to be a woman on online chat rooms to persuade teenage boys to carry out sex acts via Skype, the court heard in November.

The prosecution lawyer told the court Stacey shared videos of women revealing their bodies in a sexual manner to get boys to do the same for his sexual gratification.

Stacey admitted in court that he had a sexual preference for younger men and particularly teenage boys – and said he impersonated women because he struggled to engage straight men online.

Judge Murrage said during sentencing: “You were leading a reckless double-life on the internet.

“Unbelievably you worked as a social worker, whose job was to protect people, and you know from that job how vulnerable some people are, including children, and yet you carried on looking at these images of abuse.

“I have read the Pre Sentence report which says that you were living in a fantasy world. Well now you have to face reality.”

The judge said he accepted the defendant was remorseful, but the tribunal said it was “unpersuaded” after he failed to even turn up to its hearing and provided no evidence.

Instead Stacey wrote one letter to the tribunal service saying he did not want to be involved – as he knew the likely outcome and it was “just prolonging the stress of it all”.

The panel said: “Such offences were wholly incompatible with the profession, continued over a number of years and were whilst he was a social worker.

“There was also evidence of “grooming”. The panel is unpersuaded he has developed full insight, and cannot exclude the risk of repetition.

“His conduct and the conviction and sentence itself are so serious as to make his continued presence on the register impossible to justify.”

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