Bolton teacher found hiding under teenager's bed is sentenced

Andrew Welsh Image copyright PA
Image caption Welsh will also be on the sex offenders' register for 10 years

A teacher caught hiding under a teenager's bed by her mother has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Andrew Welsh, 36, of Atherton, Greater Manchester, admitted six counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.

Welsh was a maths teacher at the school where the 16-year-old had been a pupil, Bolton Crown Court heard.

He received a 14-month sentence suspended for two years and 200 hours of community work.

Welsh will also be on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

The married father-of-one was caught when the girl's mother returned home unexpectedly one morning last July, the court heard.

Geoff Whelan, prosecuting, told the jury the girl's mother noticed a pair of man's boots at the side of the bed in the teenager's room.

Welsh was hiding under the bed, the court heard.

Lacked 'judgment'

The jury was told he had begun a relationship with the "impressionable" girl last summer while she was taking her GCSE exams.

Welsh told police the girl was aged 16, the sex was consensual and all sexual activity took place after she had left school. He tried to have the charges dismissed.

But the judge ruled at an earlier hearing the charges should stand as Welsh had been in a position of trust.

Welsh then pleaded guilty to the six charges.

Nicola Gatto, defending, told the court: "[Welsh] has lost his standing in the community, he's lost his good character and he's lost the career he loved."

Passing sentence, Judge Elliot Knopf told Welsh he had to bear responsibility for what happened.

"You were nearly 20 years older than this girl," the judge said.

"She was attracted to you - you should have exercised the judgment which you clearly lacked when you decided to embark on this relationship with her."

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