January 2011

Probation for Aberdeenshire internet sex chat teacher

An Aberdeenshire teacher who admitted internet sexual offences involving a teenage girl has been placed on probation.

Mark Robertson, 37, admitted engaging in sexual conversations with the pupil between December 2007 and January 2008.

The Portlethen Academy physics teacher, from Cove Bay, was placed on probation for six months at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

He had initially been suspended, and has since left.

The conversations started innocently, but changed to a sexual nature.

The crime only came to light when the teenager later reported what had happened to an adult in 2009.

She sent Robertson a text message saying: “Sorry you’re going to hate me.”

The court heard he replied: “What have you done? Am I going to get beaten up or put to jail?”

Defence counsel David Moggach said the sexual content was of a very mild manner.

He added: “It must be accepted that it is perhaps inappropriate conversation between a teacher and a pupil at his school.”

‘Extra mile’

Mr Moggach explained: “He was well thought of as a school teacher and he went the extra mile for these pupils.”

He said his client had since embarked on retraining for a different career in health and safety.

Sheriff Kieran McLernan said there was no indication of predatory or abusive behaviour.

An Aberdeen Council spokesman told BBC Scotland, after the sentencing, that Robertson was no longer employed by the local authority.