Child sex offender banned from teaching for life after online grooming conviction

Mugshot of Calum Lacey  (Hampshire Police)
Mugshot of Calum Lacey (Hampshire Police)

A Hampshire teacher convicted of online grooming has been banned from the classroom indefinitely.

Calum Lacey, 33, of Station Road, Southampton, was jailed for two years at Southampton Crown Court on 19 January last year for child sex offences.

The court heard that geography teacher Lacey was sending sexual messages to a teenage girl using Telegram and Wickr, as well as video-chatting with her on Discord.

He sent sexual messages to another teenage girl between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020. Both offences took place during Covid lockdown.

He was arrested in March 2021 and was charged in November 2023.

At Southampton Magistrates’ Court, Lacey admitted one charge of intentionally communicating with and encouraging a person under 16 to send sexual messages and one charge of intentionally causing or inciting a girl under 16 to engage in sexual activity.

As well as being jailed he will be on the sex offenders register for the next 10 years.

A teacher disciplinary panel that convened this month said Lacey’s actions were “fundamentally incompatible with his being a teacher”. It added that his conduct was “of the most serious nature” and that it was a matter of “significant concern”.

The panel noted the court’s comments about Lacey at sentencing in which the former teacher “actively took advantage of his position” to “groom two teenage schoolgirls”.

It concluded: “Mr Calum Lacey is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

“Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that Mr Lacey shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”

Lacey did not attend the disciplinary meeting, but in a written statement admitted the offences. He has a right to appeal against the teaching ban.

Acting DS Heather Tack from the Child Abuse Investigation Team after his sentencing last year, said: “These two girls have been so brave throughout the investigation and court process and now Lacey is behind bars, hopefully they can get some form of closure.”