19th Oct, 2017

Coventry teacher who had sex with girl, 15, faces jail

Coventry Editorial 22nd Jan, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A TEACHER who had sex with a 15-year-old girl after lying about his qualifications to get a job at the school where she was a pupil has been warned that prison is inevitable.

Warwick Crown Court has heard that Lee Smith had got posts at one school in Coventry and two in Nuneaton by making false representations about his qualifications.

And while teaching at one of the schools Smith (38) of Acacia Crescent, Bedworth, had sex with a 15-year-old pupil.

Smith had originally denied three charges of engaging in sexual activity with the girl while he was in a position of trust at the school, where he worked in the early 2000s.

He also denied earlier allegations of gross indecency with her when she was 14.

But on the day of his trial his barrister asked for the three charges of engaging in sexual activity to be put to him again – and Smith changed his pleas to guilty.

Accepting those pleas, prosecutor Simon Phillips said: “There was a sexual relationship which started between them when she was 14, but it only became a full sexual relationship when she was 15 and continued until she left school.

“It was a consensual relationship, but one which took place when he was in a position of trust.”

After Smith had entered his pleas, Mr Barnes pointed out: “The situation is complicated by another indictment which is also for trial.”

That matter involved four charges of obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception by falsely representing that he had higher qualifications than he in fact had to gain employment.

But as that trial was then about to begin 24 hours later, Mr Barnes asked for three of the deception charges to be put to Smith – and he entered guilty pleas to those offences.

The charges detailed that in the early 2000s he had obtained the opportunity to earn remuneration at two schools in Coventry and Nuneaton by falsely representing that he had higher qualifications than he actually had.

Mr Phillips said the fourth charge, which Smith continued to deny, involved him being paid the largest sum of money of any individual charge, £29,000.

Granting Smith, who has been ordered to register as a sex offender, bail, Judge de Bertodano told him: “These are serious matters, and you know a prison sentence is inevitable.”

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