South London school worker who abused position to groom teenager jailed

Jailed: Michael Commettant (Met Police)
Jailed: Michael Commettant (Met Police)

A south London school support worker who groomed a teenage girl has been jailed for eighteen months.

Michael Commettant, 27, was working as a learning behaviour mentor at a south London school when he was arrested for his offences on May 17 last year.

Detectives had circulated him as wanted after the school reported concerns about his behaviour.

On Wednesday, he was jailed at Woolwich Crown Court after previously admitting sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in a position of trust.

The court heard how Commettant had abused his position to groom the victim, communicating with her by a secret email account, Scotland Yard said in a statement.

He called the victim multiple times from a withheld number, breaching the safeguarding practises he had agreed to follow in his role at the school.

During interview, he stayed silent and instead gave a prepared statement, in which he denied he had ever forced the girl to commit any sexual acts.

Met Detective Constable Isa Hemphrey, who led the investigation, said Commettant had committed an “utterly disgraceful abuse of trust.”

“This individual was entrusted to support children and instead of honouring this vital role, he chose to ignore all professional boundaries and enter into a wholly inappropriate sexual relationship with a teenager,” said DC Hemphrey.

“His conduct was appalling and he quite rightly will never be able to work with children again.

“I am grateful to my team and to all my colleagues who worked tirelessly and professionally to give this case the time and energy it deserved.

“I hope that this result helps the victim and her family in their journey to recover and move on from this experience.

“Most of all, I hope that this case will encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to the victim to have the confidence to speak to police and know that they have a voice.”

Upon release, Commettant, of St Lawrence Way, Lambeth, will be placed on the sex offenders register for ten years.