July 2018

Burnley high school teacher from Accrington sent sex-act video to ‘girl, 12’

A high school science teacher who sent a video of himself performing a sex act to a girl he believed was 12 has avoided a jail sentence.

Robert James Lindsay was in fact contacting an undercover police officer, posing as a teenage girl, ‘Ruby’, who had told the defendant she was 12, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Lindsay, 34, was also found with five images of indecent images of children on his computer, two of which were category A – the most serious example of child abuse, after officers raided his home in Accrington on July 28.

He was arrested in the raid in front of his wife and children.

The defendant had been talking to the undercover police officer on the Kik messenger service on July 4, 2017.

Posing under the username ‘James L’, Lindsay told Ruby she was ‘cute’.

Under another username ‘JL’ he made contact over a number of days following and sent her a video of himself performing a lewd act, and asking if she ‘liked the view’.

Robert Elias, prosecuting, said he told Ruby he wanted to see her in leggings.

He said: “He asked her if she wore leggings.

“He suggested she should make him blush, and they should play truth or dare.

“On July 21, between 8.45am and 1pm, he asked if she wore underwear.”

Lindsay had been a teacher at Blessed Trinity RC College in Burnley but was suspended when the incident came to light last year.

The court heard Lindsay attempted to instruct Ruby how to perform a sexual act on herself.

Daniel Prowse, defending, said his client had not breached trust and had sought help to address his issues.

He said: “It’s not that kind of case. He’s lost his teaching career and any career with children.”

Mr Prowse said his client’s estranged wife does not allow him to see his children.

The court heard Lindsay told Ruby if she did not like the chat she could delete it, and that her parents would not approve of their conversations.

The court heard the communication also moved to the Skype messenger service.

Lindsay, now of Swallowfield, Much Hoole, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child under the age of 13 to take part in sexual activity.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.

Lindsay was given a two-year suspended prison sentence, ordered to complete a sex offenders rehabilitation programme, forced to work 200 hours unpaid and given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order. He must also pay £1,000 costs.

Judge Philip Parry said: “You referred to her as a good girl. You asked about her bra and her breasts.

“This was not about trust, but the fact that you were a school teacher teaching children at the sort of age of the girl you believe you were communication with is relevant.

“You utilised your position and ability to speak to this girl in such a way to to do what you wanted to do.

“You said you could not show your face because you would get into trouble.

“You knew you were doing something wrong, you told the child to delete the chat.

“You were described as intelligent and articulate.

“You brought the noble teaching profession into disrepute.”