Teacher ‘gave in to temptation’

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Published: Tuesday 18th November 2014 by The News Editor

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A teacher who gave in to “temptation” and pursued a secret affair with a teenager had sex with her in empty classrooms all over their school, a court has heard.

Stuart Kerner, 44, is fighting two counts of sexual activity with a child and six counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.

His alleged victim – a former student at Bexleyheath Academy in south east London – was 15 when the affair is said to have begun.

Prosecutor Warwick Tatford told an Inner London Crown Court jury on Tuesday that what started as a schoolgirl crush turned into a full-blown sexual affair that was only uncovered in 2013.

On one occasion, it is alleged, Kerner even drove the teenager to his home for an all-day sex session.

“This was a gross breach of trust; a teacher giving in to temptation,” Mr Tatford said.

“The Crown aren’t saying she’s innocent in all this.

“She was anxious to have a relationship with him … (But) he was a senior teacher who took advantage of a vulnerable young girl who was besotted with him.”

Kerner’s defence team will argue that the complainant – who cannot be named for legal reasons – is a “devious and wicked liar”, the court heard.

But prosecutors say the girl has been caught out telling tall tales in the past. On one occasion she pretended to have been in a traffic accident to get out of PE class and even wore a bandage around her chest, but this story was quickly unpicked.

“Of course, getting out of PE and making wicked allegations against a respected teacher are rather different things,” Mr Tatford told the jury.

This time, Crown lawyers say, independent evidence including mobile phone tower records, school absentee logs and even the girl’s own coded diary supported her version of events.

“There is computer evidence that may indicate that Mr Kerner has sought to cover his tracks,” he added.

At 12.31pm – midway through fourth period on a Tuesday in February 2012 – the alleged victim was marked absent by her classroom teacher.

Mr Tatford said the girl would testify that on that afternoon, when she should have been in class, the then-16-year-old was on the other side of the school losing her virginity.

“She wasn’t there. She was having sex with Mr Kerner in another part of the school,” he said.

Some 90 minutes later, someone allegedly used Stuart Kerner’s computer login details changed the official absentee record to suggest the girl was present in class.

Prosecutors allege this person was Kerner himself, doctoring records to cover up an illicit sexual encounter.

“Why on earth would (the complainant) want to change the register? She’s not trying to cover her tracks. She’s loving it. She’s telling all her friends about it,” Mr Tatford said of the alleged victim.

He said the pair had begun their relationship when Kerner slipped the girl a Post-it note telling her to meet him in an empty classroom, where he asked her: “What do you want?”

“She became shy and said, ‘Well you know what I want,'” Mr Tatford said.

“The defendant kissed her on the lips.

“She looked down and said, ‘That’s what I want.'”

When the pair met a short time later and he tried to break things off, the court heard, she kissed him – and he kissed back.

“She knew then that it wasn’t going to end,” Mr Tatford said.

Later in 2011, when the girl allegedly performed oral sex on Kerner for the first time, he is said to have told her “she was a natural”.

She was 15 then and thought she was in love with Kerner, the jury heard.

But the court heard it was not until after she turned 16 that he allegedly showed her a condom he had been carrying around in his jacket and said: “This is in case you become too irresistible.”

They allegedly had vaginal and anal sex for the first time a few days later, lying on a yoga mat on the floor of a disused school office room.

Kerner’s wife was at the court to support him as the trial began.

His alleged victim is expected to give evidence on Wednesday.

Published: Tuesday 18th November 2014 by The News Editor

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