A secondary school teacher was jailed for four years today after being found guilty of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
David Robinson, who was jailed at Worcester Crown Court, was convicted of five counts of sexual activity with a child following a week-long trial at Hereford Crown Court in July.
The trial heard that the 41-year-old, a divorced father-of-two, was employed as a teacher at The Chase High School in Malvern, Worcestershire, when he met the girl.
Robinson, of Belmont Road, Malvern, told jurors he fell in love with the teenager, but insisted that the relationship only became sexual after her 16th birthday.
But the jury rejected his claims that his behaviour towards the 15-year-old had been "purely platonic" between the autumn of 2006 and spring 2007.
Robinson, who taught personal, social and health education, which included sex education, and science, was 38 at the time of the offences.
Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins, QC, ordered Robinson to register as a sex offender for life.
The teacher, who was suspended from his job in January 2007 amid rumours about the nature of his relationship with the girl, was acquitted of one charge of sexual activity with the youngster.
The court heard that the victim, now aged 19, was depressed at the time of her friendship with Robinson, who offered to help her out of "a very dark place" by taking her for walks.
In a statement issued after sentencing, Detective Sergeant Teresa Myatt, from the public protection unit of West Mercia Police's South Worcestershire Division, noted that the offences had had a traumatic effect on the victim and her family.
Ms Myatt said: "This was a complex investigation, made more so by Robinson's manipulation of the victim to lie to police, as well as his own lies to officers.
"It was a lengthy case, beginning in 2007 and has involved many officers before its conclusion.
"We hope today's sentence offers some comfort and reassurance to the victim and her family, who were also greatly affected by Robinson's crimes."