Pupil sex teacher given community payback order

Teacher Eppie Sprung Dawson arrives at Dumfries Sherif Court on Wednesday. Picture: Jim McEwan
Teacher Eppie Sprung Dawson arrives at Dumfries Sherif Court on Wednesday. Picture: Jim McEwan
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A TEACHER who had sex with a teenage pupil has been told to carry out a six month community payback order.

• Eppie Sprung Dawson, 27, found guilty of having sex with a teenage pupil has been given a six month community payback order

Dawson, left, arrives at Dumfries Sherif Court. Picture: Jim McEwan

Dawson, left, arrives at Dumfries Sherif Court. Picture: Jim McEwan

• Teacher is also placed on sex offenders register for six months, and will undergo counselling

• Married Dawson had sex with pupil, 17, in front seat of her car

Eppie Sprung Dawson, 27, has also been placed on the sex offenders register for the same length of time, with the final period on the list will be determined later.

Dawson has also been placed under the supervision of social workers for six months and will continue to undergo psycho-sexual counselling.

At an earlier hearing Dawson, of Pleasance Avenue, Dumfries had admitted having sex with a 17-year-old pupil in the front seat of her car in a secluded spot between Dumfries and Annan.

Solicitor David Finnie said she had undergone four sessions of counselling and had another 12 to complete. He added that it had become clear that there was counselling available for her and she had willingly taken up the offer.

Mr Finnie said she had undergone four sessions and was finding the treatment beneficial. He suggested that the whole matter be cleared up so that Dawson could do what was necessary to get on with her life.

“This was a case of breach of trust rather than any form of abuse. I would suggest that the community payback order might be sufficient,” he said.

Last month Sheriff George Jamieson told Dawson, who is no longer employed by Dumfries and Galloway council, that had she not been a teacher she would not have had to face a charge because the pupil was over the age of consent.

However, he told her that she had breached a position of trust.

Dawson had picked up the pupil in Dumfries last December, drove to a secluded layby on the Cummertrees to Hoddam Road, and had sex with him before being discovered by patrolling police officers, who had found the pair partially undressed in the front seat after approaching the vehicle.

Sheriff Jamieson said: “You have been called into temptation and you have committed adultery – your marriage is gone and your career as a teacher is gone.”

Mr Finnie described Dawson as a gifted, talented and committed teacher who was dedicated to her job, but had thrown it all away to the cost of her marriage and career.

He said: “She has all the facets that are required to make a first class teacher and she has thrown all that away.”

Sheriff Jamieson, who ordered Dawson to return to court on September 18 for updated reports, said that while it was important to address the criminal side of the charge, it was encouraging to see that she was benefiting from counselling. He added that he hoped that the social workers could add to the therapy.

Last month, Mr Finnie told the court how Dawson had been abused when she was between 13 and 18 by a man 29 years her senior. He said that although it did excuse her conduct, it provided some explanation.

He had also pleaded with the court not to impose a custodial sentence on Dawson, saying: “She has been punished already with her career wrecked, her marriage wrecked. I would suggest that this is not a case appropriate to make an example of her and it is not necessary to impose a custodial sentence.”

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