Teacher Kelly Burgess sentenced for pupil sex
- 7 April 2014
- From the section Bristol
A 26-year-old drama teacher who admitted having sex with a pupil has been spared a prison sentence.
Kelly Burgess, of Newport, had a seven-month relationship with the boy, Bristol Crown Court heard.
The matter came to light when the boy, aged between 16 and 17 at the time of the abuse, visited a sexual health clinic with Burgess after she developed symptoms of an infection.
Burgess was given a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years.
'Should have known better'
Judge Euan Ambrose told her: "You are a picture of misery in this courtroom.
"The relationship, albeit conducted as if between equals, was not a relationship between equals. You were older, you were his teacher and you should at all times have known better."
North Somerset District Council said in a statement after sentencing: "This was an isolated incident. The school followed the correct procedures and co-operated with the police."
Neither the school nor the boy can be identified for legal reasons.
The court heard Burgess and the teenager had sex at least once a week between January and August last year.
'Get the story straight'
When staff at the school noticed how close the relationship had become they informed the head teacher who challenged Burgess.
She denied the relationship was sexual and no further action was taken.
But after the visit to the sexual health clinic the police were alerted and an inquiry began.
When she was first arrested Burgess denied the offences, but when officers searched her home they discovered her mobile phone with a text message from the boy.
It read: "Got the police round. Don't text back, don't be scared.
"Just get the story straight for when they come for you."
Burgess later pleaded guilty to four sexual offences of breach of trust - engaging in a sexual act with a child between January and August 2013.