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Sunday, 2 March 2014

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Married teacher convicted for affair with 16-year-old

1 Mar MAT News

A married teacher has been spared jail after admitting having an affair with a boy of 16. Shamed history teacher, Bernadette Smith, admitted abusing her position of trust by “engaging in sexual activity” with 16-year-old schoolboy Gary Ralston. The 35-year-old - who underwent a barrage of psychiatric tests before the hearing - was sentenced to a two-year-community payback order and placed on the sex offenders’ register for the same period of time.

She looked surprised as the sheriff decided not to jail her and left Stirling Sheriff Court with a broad grin across her face.The Daily Record revealed last November how mother-of-three Smith, from Denny, Stirlingshire, groomed Gary in her classroom at Bannockburn High School, after calling him in for a lunchtime chat.

She told the stunned boy she loved him before the pair went to a nearby park and had their first kiss.However, the teenager’s grandmother found out and told the school. Smith was then suspended on September 19.But just hours after the meeting she visited the house the boy shared with Richard and the pair spent the night together in bed when she stripped down to her jeans and bra.Smith later told police and colleagues she was in love with the baby-faced student.She admitted she knew of the problems in his family life and described him as a caring boy who found it difficult to trust people.

Gary, who waived his anonymity to talk to the Daily Record, described how Smith first called him in for a lunchtime chat. He said: “I thought she was meeting me to ask me how I was getting on and if I had any problems.“She was sitting very close and I can remember blushing a bit. Then she came out with it. She said she had feelings for me.“I didn’t have a clue what to do.“It was the last thing I expected and I couldn’t get my head around it. I was stunned. I knew what she was doing was wrong.”Gary, who looks far younger than his years, said Smith then took him to a playpark, where she kissed him and left lovebites on his neck.He added: “What she did was wrong. If I was in her husband’s position I wouldn’t be happy. I just wish none of this ever happened, and that I’d said no.”

Passing sentence, Sheriff Wyllie Robertson, said: “This is a very serious abuse of trust encompassing a range of offending under this act but the offence to which you have admitted is at the lower end of that list.

 

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