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Teacher accused of having sex in plane toilet denies being attracted to student

Eleanor Wilson, 29, accepted it had been ‘inappropriate’ to tell the teenager she was pregnant with her boyfriend’s child and was having an abortion.

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Teacher Eleanor Wilson outside Bristol Crown Court (Ben Birchall/PA)

Teacher Eleanor Wilson outside Bristol Crown Court (Ben Birchall/PA)

Teacher Eleanor Wilson outside Bristol Crown Court (Ben Birchall/PA)

A teacher has denied having sex with a student in the toilets of a plane as they returned from a school trip because she was drunk and fancied him, a court heard.

Eleanor Wilson, 29, rejected accusations she was bored with her own boyfriend and had a crush on the “good looking young lad”.

Bristol Crown Court heard the pair also regularly exchanged text messages, including wishing each other happy new year and a happy Valentine’s Day.

Wilson is on trial accused of having sexual intercourse with the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on a British Airways flight home from an overseas camping trip in August 2015.

It is alleged the teacher, then aged 26, kissed and cuddled the boy before “beckoning” him into the toilet where they had sex.

She is also accused of seeing the boy outside of school where they allegedly kissed and cuddled on three separate occasions.

I don’t blame (the boy) for putting me in this situation entirely. The fact that he’s made this about him makes me so angryEleanor Wilson

Giving evidence for a second day, Wilson said she discussed with the boy being pregnant and having an abortion as her then partner of eight years, Andrew Hall, was violent and controlling and was not ready to start a family with her.

“I wanted to conceal it because he would have beaten it out of me. You don’t know what he’s like,” she said.

The defendant, who is an able seaman in the Royal Navy Reserve, conceded it had been “inappropriate” to tell the boy she was pregnant, but added: “I didn’t have anyone else and I wanted someone to feel sorry for me.”

Virginia Cornwall, prosecuting, suggested Wilson’s relationship with Mr Hall had become “dull” as there was a lack of intimacy and not a lot of sex.

“You were bored with your life and [the boy] you had noticed before the trip. He was a good looking young lad? Did he remind you of Andy when you got together aged 17?,” she asked.

“There was a loosening of the boundaries between you and [the boy]. You became like one of the students, moving down to their level, you liked that level of contact. You wanted to feel included and liked.”

Miss Cornwall suggested Wilson had drunk more than a 125ml glass of wine and a gin and tonic on the flight home.

“You became aroused because your inhibitions had been loosened because you had been drinking? You fancied him?,” she asked.

Wilson replied: “I don’t and still don’t.”

The prosecutor asked: “You did and you went into the toilet and sex took place exactly how he says it happened. You have described it as pornographic and something you see in a movie.”

Wilson replied: “Yes, ridiculous detail.”

The defendant rejected the suggestion she and the teenager were “effectively going out on a date” when they met up for trips together.

Miss Cornwall asked: “Had your sense of reality in some way been distorted by your feelings towards him?”

Wilson replied: “I didn’t have any feelings, apart from I cared. I was still aware that he was [age of boy] and I still wanted to help him.

“He texted me and wished me happy valentine’s day, no kisses or to you. I texted back saying the same.”

Wilson insisted she had not lied to her head teacher when she denied being in a relationship with a student when quizzed weeks into the new term.

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Eleanor Wilson told the jury she did not want to lose her job over “innocent talking” (Ben Birchall/PA)

Eleanor Wilson told the jury she did not want to lose her job over “innocent talking” (Ben Birchall/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Eleanor Wilson told the jury she did not want to lose her job over “innocent talking” (Ben Birchall/PA)

“There was nothing to get away with and I just didn’t want to lose my job over what was innocent talking,” she told the court.

“The trips were unprofessional and I was ashamed and afraid of losing my job. It wasn’t morally wrong because I was trying to help him. I was coming from a good place.”

Miss Cornwall said: “You had become dependent upon him and you had become increasingly close to him. You had an emotional connection with him.

“You thought you were in a relationship with [the boy]. You used [the boy] for your own sexual and emotional gratification.”

Wilson replied: “Definitely not.”

Miss Cornwall asked Wilson why she had not been truthful to her head teacher when the police launched an investigation in February 2016.

“You decided that the only way through this was to hold your head up and lie through your teeth. Your purpose is entirely self-preservation.

“Your strategy is to blame others, particularly [the boy] and particularly Andy, to excuse your own conduct before this jury. Blaming [the boy] for the situation that you are in.”

Wilson replied: “I don’t blame [the boy] for putting me in this situation entirely. The fact that he’s made this about him makes me so angry.

“He knows how hard it was for me to go through [the abortion] and now he is making it about him. I don’t know what’s going on in his head.”

Miss Cornwall said: “Suggesting that he wanted to meet up and saying he had problems – all designed to excuse your conduct and divert the focus away from the sexual conduct you had.”

The defendant replied: “No.”

Wilson, of The Rope Walk, Dursley, Gloucestershire, denies four charges of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.

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