Sentence deferred for teacher who had pupil affair

Teacher Bernadette Smith has had her sentence deferred
Teacher Bernadette Smith has had her sentence deferred
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TEACHER Bernadette Smith, who fell for a 16-year-old baby-faced pupil, missed a sex-risk assessment - because she went to the wrong city.

Bernadette Smith, 35, appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court today after earlier admitting engaging in sexual activity with Gary Ralston while in a position of trust.

The mother-of-three of Gill Park had appeared at court for sentencing, but the court heard she had missed a social work appointment with an expert in Glasgow after mistakingly going to Edinburgh.

The court heard Smith was “aghast” at missing the meeting, during which she would have talked through her affair with the schoolboy.

Solicitor Andrew Gibb, defencing said: “Due to an oversight by my client she went to the Edinburgh office instead of Glasgow.

“She is fully compliment, she is now seeing Dr Carpenter on February 17.

“I would ask the court to defer sentence to a further diet.”

Smith, a married history and English teacher at Bannockburn High School in Stirling, had originally denied being involved in inappropriate activity with the boy in September last year.

However, she later confessed to having “feelings” for the teen and was sacked from her job.

During interviews with the police, Smith told officers that she was in love with Gary and that they both wanted to be together.

She also admitted kissing the pupil in Callendar Park and staying overnight in his bed wearing only jeans and a bra in September.

Yesterday, Sheriff William Gilchrist further deferred sentence until February 26.

He said: “The psychological assessment is clearly something the [social work] report writer needs sight of. A further delay is regrettable.

“A psychological assessment is an important step before assessing risk so I will further defer to obtain that.”