A Fife RE teacher spared a trial despite claims he plotted to have sex with a 14-year-old girl now faces the prospect of being thrown out of the profession.
Iain Parkinson, 56, who taught religious and moral education at Kirkcaldy High School, previously saw criminal charges dropped after judges ruled he was the victim of entrapment by undercover police officers.
But Parkinson, from Corstorphine in Edinburgh, has now been ordered to appear before a General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) hearing during which an independent panel will determine his fitness to teach.
A full hearing will be held to consider allegations that Parkinson engaged in inappropriate online conversation with another person between May 25, 2016, and May 30, 2016, in which he made references to engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl and a dog.
Parkinson is also accused of attending the Travelodge in Falkirk on May 31, 2016, with the intention of engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl.
The latest development comes almost four years after High Court judges refused the Crown’s appeal against a sheriff’s decision not to go to trial based upon the entrapment of Parkinson.
Police arrested Parkinson after an undercover officer posing as someone called ‘Lisa’ was involved in a number of chat conversations on a swingers website with him.
During those exchanges, ‘Lisa’ made reference to a fictitious 14-year-old daughter and said her daughter would be in the house at the time of an arranged liaison.
However, Parkinson’s solicitors successfully argued their client had been the victim of entrapment and the trial did not go ahead.
In rejecting the Crown’s appeal, Lord Carloway ruled that an initial reference to the daughter by ‘Lisa’ in conversations had provoked no reaction from Parkinson.
When he was asked specifically about what he was “into”, and then what his fantasies might be, he made no mention of the daughter or children in general.
Lord Carloway also said that, at the point of an initial discussion about the daughter being in the next room, the context of what he said did not involve sexual activity with the daughter, but “concern in relation to her presence”.
And he noted that it was only when the police introduced the idea of the daughter entering the bedroom during sexual activity between the respondent and other adults that there was any mention by him of engaging in any activity involving the daughter.
Parkinson had denied charges at Falkirk Sheriff Court of engaging in online conversations with others “for the purpose of gaining access to a 14-year-old girl” and travelling to a hotel “for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a child”.