A drama teacher who had a fling with a pupil and whisked him away on a sordid hotel break during a training weekend funded by their school has walked free from court.
Kelly Burgess, 26, exchanged more than 12,000 texts with the 16-year-old boy in just seven months, including ‘explicit’ naked pictures.
The pair became involved in a relationship when she was working as his drama teacher.
Just weeks into their affair, the teacher from Newport, South Wales, took him to a hotel in Warwickshire where she was attending a training event, where they engaged in sexual activity.
Sentencing at Bristol Crown Court Judge Euan Ambrose told blonde Burgess, who wept in the dock, the relationship was consensual but ‘not one of equals’.
Judge Ambrose told the teacher that she ‘should have known better’.
‘You are a picture of misery in this courtroom,’ he said.
‘You are somebody who had trained to become a teacher.
‘It was a career you had longed for, which your parents had sacrificed a great deal to pay for in terms of the education.
‘That is all for nothing now because your teaching career is quite properly at an end’
He sentenced Burgess to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for two years and barred the 26-year-old from teaching again.
She was also handed a two-year supervision order and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.
The relationship between the pair was only uncovered when he visited a sexual health clinic and let slip who his lover was, Bristol Crown Court was told.
Sam Jones, prosecuting, said: ‘More than 12,000 text messages were found passing between the defendant and the boy over a relatively short period of time. The messages are at times sexually explicit and sometimes intimate.
‘There were also messages to other recipients, some went to a fellow pupil who had left the school but was aware of the boy and his relationship with this defendant. It was texting that involved discussing the relationship with the boy.
‘In January the pupil accompanied her on a training weekend to Warwickshire to a training course as part of the defendant’s duties as a teacher. She was being put up in a hotel by the school and he stayed with her in that hotel.’
The pair met during a school production in December 2012 and started their relationship in January 2013 – shortly before the hotel trip, the court heard.
They also went on a camping trip to Devon together in July. During the relationship the pupil – who cannot be named for legal reasons – sent her naked pictures of himself to her via the mobile app Snap Chat.
But their secret came out when they travelled to a sexual health clinic on August 5 where the pupil made revelations about dating his 25-year-old teacher, and gave her name.
When the nurse revealed she now had a protocol to follow, the panicked student later returned with Burgess, who falsely claimed to be 17-year-old Kelly Summers in an attempt to retract the statement.
But the police were informed and Burgess, who worked at a secondary school in Somerset, was arrested later that month.
She initially denied the affair but eventually pleaded guilty to four sexual offences of breach of trust – engaging in a sexual act with a child between January and August 2013.
While en route to the custody suite Burgess received a text message from the pupil which said: ‘Got the police round, don’t text back don’t be scared just get your story straight when they come to you. I will phone you later.’
The court heard that staff at the school became aware of the relationship and the headteacher was forced to warn the head of the drama department, who in turn spoke to the teacher.
Mr Jones added: ‘Police spoke to a number of members of staff employed at the school and there was some concern raised by other members of staff about the closeness of relationship of this defendant with students, in particular the use of social media to communicate with students.
‘The head teacher had raised the concern with the head of department who had raised it with the defendant.’
But Burgess denied anything was going on. However, she finally admitted the relationship after police presented her with evidence of her text messages, and naked Snap Chat pictures of the boy saved on her laptop.
But the teacher said she was not aware she had done anything illegal because the boy had reached the age of consent and the relationship was ‘loving and on equal terms’.
Burgess admitted four charges of adult abuse of position of trust – sexual activity with a boy aged 13 to 17 between January 1 and August 28 last year. She will be sentenced later today !!!