November 2009

PE teacher jailed for affair with pupil, 16

A MARRIED physical education teacher has been jailed for 10 months for having an affair with one of his pupils.

Marc Grim, 36, was a teacher at a school in Exeter, which cannot be named for legal reasons, when he and the pupil began a relationship

Grim was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court yesterday after he previously admitted three charges under the Sexual Offences Act.

He was put on the sex offenders register indefinitely and has been disqualified from working with children.

He admitted two counts of intentionally touching a girl aged 16 in a sexual manner while in a position of trust, between January and July this year, and one charge of intentionally causing or inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust.

Grim, of Westcliff, Dawlish, secretly met the girl during the school Easter holidays. They also met by the River Exe and in the grounds of Exeter University.

Grim told police he first kissed the girl in Dawlish and told her that he loved her and she said the same. They met again in Dawlish when a sex act occurred while she was still a pupil at the school.

Grim has since resigned from his job and separated from his wife, the court was told previously.

Mary McCarthy, prosecuting, said the teacher first became friendly with a girl after noticing her sporting prowess and offered her one-to-one lessons at the school. She said: “Subsequently there was frequent extra contact between them often until late at night which developed into a romantic relationship.”

She told the court the relationship came to light after the girl’s mother became suspicious when she saw the volume of phone calls and texts between them on an itemised bill.

Despite pleas from Grim to the mother not to go to the police, he was arrested in October last year and made a full admissions during a police interview.

Nigel Wraith, defending, said Grim was described by a colleague at the school as “one of the most professional and dedicated teachers I have known in 29 years of teaching”.

He added: “Due to his own stupidity, he accepts he has thrown not only his career away but his marriage as well.

“The situation he got into started perfectly innocently. He had offered other students one-to-one tuition before. This was nothing unusual and there was no sexual activity on these one-to-one sessions.

“There was no grooming and nothing sinister or planned in any of this. It started as a perfectly acceptable student/teacher relationship but feelings of affection grew.

“He knows full well he should not have allowed his feelings to be expressed. The mistake he made was to give the girl his mobile number.”

Judge Paul Darlow said he took into account the character references, his early guilty plea and the fact there was consent on both sides but said: “A message must go out to teachers who have a privileged access to children that courts will not tolerate behaviour of this sort.”