Former teacher, 56, pleads guilty to sex with student

A FORMER teacher who lives at Woodburn faces a maximum of eight years in jail after pleading guilty to a charge relating to the sexual assault of a former student.

Mark Christopher Lancaster appeared in Lismore Local Court yesterday and was represented by his solicitor Cameron Bell.

He faced four charges including aggravated sexual assault of a girl under 16, and three counts of carnal knowledge (sexual intercourse) by a teacher of a girl under 17.

It was alleged the 56-year-old man committed an aggravated sexual assault on the student between January 1 and September 22 in 1996.

Ballina detectives investigated allegations against Lancaster by the victim and he was arrested and charged at Ballina police station on January 14.

When Mr Bell entered a guilty plea to one charge of carnal knowledge by a teacher of a girl under 17, prosecutor Rod Behan withdrew the three other charges.

Mr Bell asked for Lancaster's bail to be varied so he can now contact a woman he was previously prohibited from contacting.

Magistrate David Heilpern adjourned Lancaster's matters until July when he will be committed to be sentenced in the Lismore District Court.

According to the NSW Judicial Commission, Lancaster faces a maximum of eight years in jail.

He remains free on conditional bail until his next court appearance.