Tayside and Central Scotland

Teacher Bernadette Smith in court over claims of sexual activity with pupil

A school teacher has appeared in court accused of engaging in sexual activity with one of her teenage male pupils.

Bernadette Smith, 35, from Denny, near Falkirk, is alleged to have kissed a 17-year-old boy and lain beside him on a bed while partially clothed.

At Stirling Sheriff Court she pleaded not guilty and was granted bail.

Her solicitor said she would challenge the part of the charge that said she was the boy's teacher, and therefore in a position of trust.

Ms Smith resigned from her job last week after allegations emerged that she had been involved in a sexual relationship with a pupil. The school cannot be named for legal reasons.

She was held in custody over the weekend in connection with the claims, part of which allege she and the pupil engaged in sexual activity in a public park.

Partially clothed

Ms Smith pled not guilty to a single charge that, while in a position of trust as the boy's teacher, she engaged in sexual activity with the pupil, kissed him on the mouth and neck and lay beside him on a bed while partially clothed.

The offence was alleged to have been committed between 13 and 20 September at an address in Cowie, near Stirling, and at Callander Park in Falkirk.

Her solicitor, Harry Coughlan, said: "I appear on behalf of Bernadette Smith. The special capacity is challenged and thereafter she pleads not guilty and seeks bail."

Alison Montgomery, the depute fiscal, did not oppose bail, but said the Crown sought an additional condition that Ms Smith does not approach or contact, or attempt to approach or contact, the boy involved.

Ms Smith is due to return to court in December for a pre-trial hearing.

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