Teacher became infatuated with pupil

A TEACHER at a Suffolk boarding school who became infatuated with one of his pupils was seen kissing her “passionately” after she got drunk at a school party, it has been alleged.

A TEACHER at a Suffolk boarding school who became infatuated with one of his pupils was seen kissing her “passionately” after she got drunk at a school party, it has been alleged.

Father-of-two Stuart Barley exchanged flirtatious text messages and e-mails with the teenager and on Valentine's Day sent her a text saying “This is your free hugs and kisses voucher valid for two weeks,” Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Barley, 45, who was described as a “well regarded and popular teacher” also hid the girl's favourite sweets around her room and at school parties gave her extra glasses of wine, said David Wilson, prosecuting.

Barley, who was a biology and sport teacher with 20 years experience, has denied two offences of abusing a position of trust by having sexual activity with a child under 18. The name of the school cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Mr Wilson claimed that Barley “developed something of an infatuation” with the girl and on two occasions had kissed her on the lips.

The first alleged incident happened one evening when the girl went to his office to collect a memory stick she had lent him and the other happened ten days later when he allegedly followed her after she had been drinking at a school party. On that occasion he was allegedly seen kissing the girl by another pupil who reported what she had seen and the police became involved.

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Mr Wilson said: “The prosecution say the defendant grew increasingly close to her and they would flirt. Their behaviour reached the stage when on two occasions he kissed her on the lips.”

He said Barley's action constituted an abuse of trust. “He was her teacher at that time and he had a duty of care and responsibility in respect of her not to behave in a sexual way,” he added.

The court heard that after his arrest Barley handed police a prepared statement in which he denied the allegations and claimed that on the first occasion he had kissed the girl on the cheek to say thank-you for lending him the memory stick and on the second he claimed he had given her a hug because she was upset.

Giving evidence the girl said she had had a good pupil/ teacher relationship with Barley and had then become aware of their relationship becoming flirtatious.

She said the attention he paid her was “exciting and a bit of a joke” but because he was her teacher she didn't think anything would happen between them.

She said she was “quite shocked” when he sent her a message on Valentine's Day saying “This is your free hugs and kisses voucher valid for two weeks.”

She claimed that on another occasion he had sent her a message saying he liked the idea of her being in the shower and in another he had commented on a red bra she had been wearing.

The girl also told the court that on one occasion Barley had told her that he wanted to spend the night with her instead of his wife.

Asked by Mr Wilson if she had wanted the first kiss in Barley's office to happen, the girl said: “I wouldn't have wanted that to happen in as much as he was my tutor but I did have feelings for him in that way.”

She claimed that on the night of the second alleged kiss Barley had given her extra glasses of wine at a school party and had then followed her and kissed her.

Cross-examined by defence counsel John Lamb she admitted that when she was initially questioned by the school's deputy head about what happened between her and Barley she had claimed he had only kissed her on one occasion.

She said she had been scared to tell the truth in case she got into trouble.

The girl accepted she had flirted with Barley and that she could have changed tutors if she had been unhappy with the way he was treating her.

The trial continues today.

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