A teacher who tried to meet up with what he believed was a ‘schoolgirl’ for sex has been banned from the classroom for life.
David Gilroy Simpson, 50, appeared in court last year after chatting online to a girl he believed to be aged 15 and arranging to meet her for sex.
Simpson - who was found guilty of attempting to meet a girl under 16 after a trial last year - has now been given an indefinite teaching ban by a professional standards body.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel found his behaviour could have impacted on pupil safety.
He cannot appeal the decision.
Simpson, of Oak Street, Accrington, worked in schools in Hyndburn and as a supply teacher at Alder Grange Community College, in Rawtenstall, in October 2012, after being employed by an agency.
He was arrested in February 2013 after travelling to Birmingham to meet the girl, when he was confronted by a journalist from a national newspaper and a man who creates fake online profiles to trap people grooming under-age children.
Simpson has always claimed he is innocent.
The teaching body has ruled the offence was ‘highly relevant’ to working with children.
Decision maker Paul Heathcote said Simpson ‘vehemently protested his innocence’ to the panel, and throughout his criminal trial. In a report, Mr Heathcote said: “The panel does not consider that he has shown insight into his actions and behaviour, even after his conviction. The panel also gave consideration to the judge’s comments in his summing up at the criminal trial in which he stated that “I am not at all satisfied yet that you have learnt your lesson.”
He added: “David Gilroy Simpson 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 allegation found proved against him, I have decided that Mr David Gilroy Simpson shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”
Simpson was handed a 12-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work following the conviction at Burnley Crown Court.
The court was told that the woman he had been speaking to online was in fact in her 20s and had been posing as a teenager as part of the sting.
Simpson is subject to a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order, a 12-month supervision order and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.