Teacher Accused of Affair with Pupil
Miss, 26, charged over claims she had sexual relationship with boy
The Sunday Mail, U.K., by Brendan Mcginty and Brian Lironi, February 1st, 2004
A YOUNG teacher has been charged over claims she had an affair with a boy pupil. Leanne Russell, 26, who works at Hermitage Academy, Helensburgh, was named in a report to the procurator fiscal over her alleged fling with a 17-year-old. Although the boy was over the age of consent at the time of the alleged incident, the authorities still want to prosecute the teacher.
The crime she is charged with is covered under laws governing teachers and other professionals in a position of trust banning them from having sex with those in their care.
Business studies teacher Ms Russell was suspended in November over rumours that she had been having a relationship with the pupil.
The boy nicknamed ''The Legend'' by pals said he had the affair after being confronted by his mother and other teachers at the school.
His friends said he had told them that the pair had booked into a hotel over a weekend.
There are also said to have been a string of mobile phone text messages between the two. Police interviewed Ms Russell, the boy, the school head teacher Donald Mathes on and other school staff.
Ms Russell was suspended by employers Argyll and Bute council in November and has not returned to Hermitage Academy.
She has moved out of the house in Paisley she shared with another woman and moved back in with her family in Dalgety Bay, Fife. She refused to comment when asked about the alleged incident last week.
One parent with children at the school said: ''It is all the senior pupils are talking about and the worry is that their studies are suffering.
''They all seemed to fancy this Miss Russell and the rumour was that she and the boy had been exchanging mobile phone text messages.
''The boy in question is a popular boy. After the scandal broke, he was nowhere to be seen at the school. The teacher was suspended and hasn't been seen since.''
Ms Russell has been charged by police and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal in Greenock.
It's understood that she is being dealt with under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000.
A police insider said: ''The case is slightly unusual in that the boy is over the age of 16. But there is an alleged offence because Ms Russell was in a position of trust.''
A police spokesman said: ''We can confirm that a 26 year-old woman is the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal in Greenock.''
A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute Council confirmed they were conducting their own inquiry.
She said: ''We can confirm that a Hermitage Academy teacher has been suspended and will remain so until inquiries have concluded.''
The boy's family have refused to comment on the case.