Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Probation for pupil sex teacher

Alison Smith
Smith was placed on the sex offenders register at an earlier court hearing

A former Aberdeen school teacher who admitted having sex with a 15-year-old pupil has avoided a jail sentence.

Alison Smith, 29, a teacher at the city's Bankhead Academy, confessed the incident to church associates and her parents before going to the police.

Smith was placed on probation for 18 months and given 200 hours community service at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

She had been charged in July last year over the allegations of an inappropriate relationship.

The incident happened in June last year when Smith was visited at her home by the pupil.

There she had what she described as consensual sex with the boy.

'Human weakness'

One of the parents of the boy, in a written testimonial to the court, said it had not had any long-term psychological effect on him.

Sheriff Kieran McLernan said: "On the face of it, this offence is normally regarded with considerable seriousness because it's one form of a significant abuse of trust.

"It was an effect of your own conscience which brought this matter to light.

"Human weakness is not often best dealt with by public punishment but it is a matter of public interest where there is a breach of trust."

Smith had been placed on the sex offenders register at an earlier hearing.

No comment

She refused to comment when questioned by BBC Scotland as she left court.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) said the case would come before the disciplinary committee.

An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: "The council has guidelines in place regarding inappropriate behaviour.

"We encourage staff and all those involved with children and vulnerable people to be vigilant and to voice any concerns so that they can be investigated.

"Any staff working with children or young people are Disclosure Scotland checked."

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