A man sacked from his teaching job at Spalding Grammar School has been jailed for sexually grooming a teenage girl.
Darri Poucher (31) of Hay Barn Road, Deeping St Nicholas, is serving a 12-month prison term after a jury found him guilty of sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl and grooming her for sexual purposes.
Poucher, who taught at Spalding Grammar School between September 2011 and May 2012, also admitted two counts of fraud by claiming to be a qualified teacher with the intention of making a financial gain between May and July 2011 and the period spent teaching in Spalding.
Judge David Tremberg jailed Poucher for two years, to run consecutively, in a separate case at Grimsby Crown Court which the judge described as a “serious breach of trust.”
Poucher became obsessed with the girl while working as a supply teacher at a Grimsby school in July 2009.
Michael Smith, prosecuting, said: “It became clear to the girl that Poucher appeared to take a particular interest in her, talking to her more often than he would the others, seeing her after school and chatting with her.
“Poucher was making her feel that she was a favoured pupil, messaging her on (social media website) Facebook in a way that was wholly inappropriate for a teacher.”
The obsession with the girl escalated when she told Poucher that she and some friends were going to a nightclub in Cleethorpes.
Mr Smith said: “Poucher intentionally met her at the nightclub and intended to do something which involved the commission of a sexual offence. He was being touchy-feely, put his hand on her bottom, dancing very close up to her and he sexually assaulted her when Poucher knew full well that she wasn’t 16 or over.”
Mr Smith added that Poucher later apologised to the girl while they were at school and he eventually left, but continued sending messages to her until April 2012.
Poucher’s behaviour only came to light when the girl talked about her career options with another teacher, mentioning that she had exchanged messages with Poucher and had met him in the nightclub.
Mr Smith said: “The teacher behaved in a rather more responsible way and said it had to be reported immediately – and it was reported.”
Poucher admitted being friendly with the girl and meeting her at the nightclub, but denied buying her alcoholic drinks or touching her inappropriately.
During the fraud case, Mr Smith said Poucher had worked as a supply teacher at two schools in Grimsby and Spalding when he wasn’t qualified to do so.
“He produced a CV describing himself as a young, professional graduate and said he had worked with children for four years,” Mr Smith said.
“But the schools paid for somebody who was totally unqualified.”
Andrew Bailey, mitigating, said: “For many years, Poucher has been living a lie and having lied about matters, they have rather snowballed.
“It was a fraud of the school, pupils and parents.”
Sentencing Poucher, Judge Tremberg said: “You are a manipulative, deceitful, resourceful fraudster with an unsavoury eye for young girls.
“You are an unreconstructed sex offender and these offences were a serious breach of trust.”
As well as the jail term, Poucher was given a ten-year sexual offences prevention order, restricting any future contact with girls under 16, and to register as a sex offender for ten years.
After the case, Detective Sergeant Stewart Watson of Humberside Police said: “Children should be protected in school and they should not be targeted by their teachers.
“Poucher was a fraud who brought shame on the school and the teaching profession.”
Nigel Ryan, headmaster of Spalding Grammar School, said: “We terminated the contract with the agency which had supplied Poucher as soon as we were made aware that he did not have appropriate qualifications to teach. We are aware that he has now been jailed for this fraud and other offences not in any way related to our school.”