Teacher guilty of under-age sex

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The Independent Online

A sex education teacher was found guilty today of having sex with a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

David Robinson, 41, was convicted at Hereford Crown Court of five counts of sexual activity with a child between November 26 2006 and May 2007.

The jury acquitted Robinson of one count of sexual activity with a child, which related to an alleged encounter with the same girl on November 25 2006.

Robinson, of Belmont Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, had admitted having a relationship with the girl, who cannot be named, but told the court they "fell in love" and did not have sex until her 16th birthday.

He remained impassive as the jury returned its verdicts after deliberating for four and a half hours.

Robinson, a divorced father-of-two, was employed as a teacher at The Chase High School in Malvern, Worcestershire, when he met the teenager.

The court heard he taught personal, social and health education (PSHE), which included sex education, and science. He was suspended from his job in January 2007 when rumours began to circulate about the nature of his relationship with the girl, and a police investigation was subsequently launched.

During the week-long trial the girl, who cried as the jury returned its verdicts, told the court she had first had sex with Robinson after a party at his home on the evening on November 25 2006.

Jurors heard that the pair, who went on to conduct an 18-month relationship, had matching tattoos bearing the date of the party on their arms.

Robinson said the tattoo was not to mark the date of the couple's first sexual encounter but was designed to commemorate the police investigation into his conduct, adding: "Tattoos do not have to be happy things."

He said the relationship was "purely platonic" before the girl reached the age of consent, telling jurors he began a friendship with her because she was in "a very depressive state" and he thought he could help.

He said he wanted to bring the girl, now 19, "out of a very dark place" by going for walks with her at weekends and chatting to her about her life.

He said: "We'd talk about why she was depressed. I saw her as a friend and somebody who I could hopefully bring out of a very dark place that she was in.

"She was in a very depressive state and I told her I'd be there.

"I just really did think I would be able to help.

"It was purely platonic and I did it on the basis that I thought I could help."

Robinson denied any "inappropriate behaviour" but admitted that soon after her 16th birthday the relationship became sexual.

He said: "She came over and I cooked her a meal ... that's when everything started happening, that's when it started to become a sexual relationship.

"I was 38 at the time and I am not proud of starting a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student but it happened."

Robinson said the relationship continued for around 18 months, adding: "I am not ashamed to say it, I fell in love with her and she fell in love with me and it was great."

He said the girl called an end to the relationship in November 2008 because he was unable to "fully commit" to it and had "issues" with his ex-wife.

Robinson was bailed to appear for sentencing at Hereford Crown Court on September 13.