Teacher jailed for sex with pupil half his age

A TEACHER who started a sexual relationship with a girl pupil half his age has been jailed for 14 months.

Robert Liddle, 34, of Linden Road, Tuxford, admitted abuse of a position of trust.

Nottingham Crown Court heard he was a family man with three children of his own.

At the time of the offences he was working as a maths teacher at a comprehensive school, which we are unable to name for legal reasons.

The girl, aged 17, stayed behind after lessons and discussed with him any problems she had, said Christopher Lowe, prosecuting.

When Liddle let her know he was on Facebook she added him as a ‘friend’ and they began communicating on-line.

The girl’s mother discovered their exchanges and told the school, who gave the teacher a warning he should not be alone with the girl in school.

Liddle continued to meet her outside school and took her for drives in his car.

They had sex for the first time at his home and again on a three-day holiday in the south of England, said Mr Lowe.

On her return the girl was confronted by her mother and confessed to her. Liddle was arrested in August and bailed with a condition of not contacting the girl.

But he saw her again and they again had sex. He was later remanded into custody by the police.

In mitigation, it was said Liddle, a man of previous good character, was remorseful and accepted he should have thought it all through at the time. He was not aware it constituted a criminal offence.

“He has lost his job, his career and his reputation,” said his barrister John Millington.

Judge Philip Head said he accepted it was a relationship of genuine affection on both sides. But it involved the exploitation of a vulnerable personality.

The judge told Liddle: “You deliberately and consciously chose to flout the warning given by the school.”

“The continued contact while on bail was flagrant and is an aggravating feature.”

Liddle will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and is disqualified for life from working with persons under 16.