A primary school teacher who sent sexualised messages to a 15-year-old schoolgirl he met on Snapchat has avoided jail at Lincoln Crown Court.
Daniel Hammond, 38, who at the time was teaching at Sir Francis Hill School in Lincoln, responded to a shout-out from the girl who was looking to broaden her friendship circle.
Andrew Fitch-Holland, prosecuting, said: “He appeared to have a high Snapchat score which indicated he was a prolific user of the app. That gave her confidence.
“The defendant was a little flirty but she shut the conversation down when it went that way.
“The conversation became more sexually explicit and she became concerned when the defendant revealed he was a primary school teacher.”
Hammond talked about fantasies and the girl took a screenshot of his comments, the court heard.
Mr Fitch-Holland said: “The girl took a screenshot. Contact then ended. The defendant would have been aware the conversation had been screen shot.
“Later the girl discovered the defendant was embarking on a relationship with a woman who had children. She did a bit of detective work and discovered he had children.”
As a result, the girl told her aunt. The aunt discovered he was on the school website as a teacher and contacted the police.
Hammond, of Webb Street, Lincoln, admitted engaging in sexual communication with a child during May and June 2019.
Sunil Khanna, in mitigation, said Hammond accepts he will not be able to teach again and has been preparing to become a personal trainer working with adults.
Mr Khanna told the court Hammond separated from his wife in April 2019.
“He began drinking most evenings to excess and began numerous online chats with various women. He was feeling rejected and unwanted.
“He reacted to a shout out from the girl. Initially he thought she was an adult. He gave his real name, his real age, his real occupation and the school he worked at and a photograph of himself.
“He accepts the girl told him her age. He tells me he simply got carried away with himself. He accepts that what he did was entirely inappropriate and wrong.”
Mr Khanna said that all of Hammond’s electronic devices were checked by police and nothing untoward was found on any of them.
“What a fall from grace this has been. He was a primary school teacher, married. He is now separated, unemployed and living in rented accommodation.”
He said Hammond resigned from his position at the school after previously being suspended.
Hammond was given a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years with a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 45 days. He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.