Dumfries teacher who had sex with pupil struck off

Eppie Sprung Dawson was struck off at a hearing in Edinburgh
Eppie Sprung Dawson was struck off at a hearing in Edinburgh
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A TEACHER who was found half-naked in a lay-by with one of her teenage pupils has been struck off.

Eppie Sprung Dawson yesterday admitted engaging in a sexual activity with Matthew Robinson, who was under 18 at the time.

The 27-year-old was found “unfit to teach” during a hearing by the General Teaching Council For Scotland (GTCS) in Edinburgh.

In a statement read out to the panel, the English teacher consented to being struck off and admitted having had sex with Mr Robinson, then aged 17.

She wrote: “On the 9th of February I was convicted at Dumfries Sheriff Court.

“I engaged in sexual intercourse with him, contrary to Section 42 of the Sexual Offences Act 2009.

“I was sentenced on 18 September, 2013, and sentenced to a community payback order and made subject to the sex offenders’ register.

“I readily and willingly consent to being removed and understand that I will be prohibited from teaching for a period of two years.”

The panel chairman, John Kilpatrick, said: “The panel agrees that the registrant should be removed from the register in the light of her declarations.”

The panel has now referred the former teacher to the Scottish Government to decide if she should be placed on a list excluding her from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Mrs Sprung Dawson, who taught English at Matthew’s school, St Joseph’s College in Dumfries, was not present or represented at the hearing.

The case first hit the headlines in July when she appeared at Dumfries Sheriff Court and admitted having sex with someone aged under 18, while in a position of trust.

The pair had been at a school dance before driving to an isolated spot on the Cummertreese to Hoddam Road, near Dumfries, where they had sex.

They were caught by officers on a routine patrol of the area, just four days before Christmas last year.

The former teacher, who is married, admitted the charge which was laid against her by the GTCS.

Its statement read: “On 19 February, 2013, at Dumfries Sheriff Court, you were convicted of the following charge on Indictment:

“On 21 December, 2012, at the Cummertreese to Hoddam Road, near Dumfries you, Eppie Sprung Dawson, being a person who has attained the age of 18 years and who was in a position of trust towards [name and date of birth redacted], namely being his teacher, did engage in sexual activity with or directed towards [name redacted], a person who was under 18 years, in that you engaged in sexual intercourse with him; contrary to Section 42 of the Sexual Offences Act 2009.”

As well as being struck from the teaching register, Mrs Sprung Dawson was ordered to receive counselling as part of a community payback order. She lost her job at St Joseph’s College and split up with her husband of two years, Ranald Sprung Dawson, who is also a teacher and son of the former solicitor-general for Scotland, Lord Sprung Dawson.

In September, a sheriff caused controversy when he praised Mrs Sprung Dawson’s “exemplary” behaviour during her community service at a review in court.

Dumfries Sheriff George Jamieson agreed to allow Mrs Sprung Dawson, who now lives with Mr Robinson in the town, to complete her sentence without returning to court.

Speaking at the time, he said: “I fixed this review to ensure that you were complying with it. It wasn’t meant to be an easy order for you to deal with.”