Teacher had relationship with boy
A female teacher today admitted a series of sexual offences against a teenage pupil.
Kelly Ann-Marie Burgess, 26, of Newport, Gwent, appeared before magistrates at North Somerset Courthouse in Weston-super-Mare.
She admitted four counts of adult breach of trust - sexual activity with a boy aged 16 and 17 between January 1 and August 28 last year.
The offences took place in north Somerset, when Burgess was in a "position of trust" in relation to the boy. Burgess sexually touched the teenager, "not reasonably believing he was aged 18 or over", charges state.
Prosecuting, Michael Collins told magistrates the offences came to light when the victim visited a sexual health clinic.
"The defendant and the child had attended a sexual health clinic where the child made some revelations to the practice nurse that he was or had been in a sexual relationship with a 25-year-old teacher and mentioned the defendant by name.
"The practice nurse explained that this caused her obvious concerns and there was a protocol which may mean she might need to make a referral in relation to this."
Mr Collins said the child left the room and returned with the defendant, who provided a false name to the nurse.
A police investigation began and Burgess was arrested on August 28.
Police carried out a search at the teacher's home and her mobile phone was seized. Mr Collins said the phone received a text message from the boy while en route to the police station.
The text 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 initially denied she was involved with the boy and claimed she had accompanied him to the sexual health clinic after a relationship between him and a girl of the same age.
Officers then discovered back-ups of deleted files from Burgess's phone on her work station, Mr Collins said.
"She was interviewed again. She confirmed they had begun a relationship in January," the prosecutor said.
"She stated she wasn't aware there was anything illegal because, as far as she was concerned, he had reached the age of consent."
Mr Collins said the sentencing point for the charges started at 18 months and therefore the case should be sent to Bristol Crown Court.
Representing Burgess, Sue Cameron said: "We are not opposed to the matter being sent to the Crown Court for sentence.
"There are mitigating factors that I won't go into today."
Mrs Jane Corke, chair of magistrates, adjourned the case for sentencing.
"Kelly Burgess, having considered and heard the facts in this case, it clearly deserves more punishment than we are able to give," she said.
"We are therefore committing you to the crown court at Bristol.
"Until then you are being given unconditional bail."
Burgess, who has been suspended from the school where she teaches, wore a tailored brown coat and black dress in the dock, where she sat with her hands clasped through the hearing.
Burgess will next appear at Bristol Crown Court on April 7.
A spokeswoman for North Somerset Council said Burgess had lost her job at the school where she worked.
"The school takes safeguarding issues very seriously and this was an isolated incident," the spokeswoman said.
"The individual teacher abused her position of trust. The school followed the correct procedures and has co-operated fully with the police.
"The teacher concerned is no longer employed by the school and has not worked at the school since August last year."