A maths teacher who performed a part-striptease for a 15-year-old schoolgirl he dubbed “the full package” has been spared jail.
Kenneth O’Brien, 29, targeted the girl who was a member of his maths class at a large Stirlingshire high school.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard that on May 5, 2022, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was in the gym hall when O’Brien came to find her, and told her she had to go to his classroom to complete a maths test she had “missed”.
When she got there, there was no one else in the classroom.
Alone with the girl, O’Brien told her that he would add her on Snapchat “if he was feeling good”, before marking her test, saying “congratulations, you’ve passed”, and slapping her on the buttocks over her clothing.
The girl went to the toilets and “broke down”, but later found O’Brien had indeed added her as a friend on the social messaging service.
Prosecutor James Moncrieff said that O’Brien told the girl to change his name on Snapchat “for the sake of his career,” and asked if she was going to give him “a leaving present” as he was due to go to another school.
The girl then sent him five pictures of herself wearing only underwear, and he replied, “You’re the full package, aren’t you?”
He later sent her selfies of himself taken in the school toilets with his hands down his trousers, and a video which showed him lowering a towel down his body – without actually exposing his private parts.
He said this was “his turn to tease”.
Next day he messaged her again saying, “I’m off periods three and five, baby.”
He asked her to let him know where they could meet.
The girl told one of her closest friends, however.
Mr Moncrieff, the depute fiscal, said: “Her friend insisted they contacted her mum, which they did, along with a member of staff.”
O’Brien was arrested at his home in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, two weeks later.
He pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with a person under 18 while an adult in a position of trust – contrary to the 2009 Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act.
Solicitor-advocate Gordon Martin, defending, said: “His career is at an end.”
Sheriff Keith O’Mahony told O’Brien: “I am persuaded by a narrow margin that I can deal with this in a non-custodial manner – as a direct alternative to custody.”
He placed O’Brien under social work supervision for two years, and imposed a restriction of liberty order, during which O’Brien will have to wear an electronic ankle tag and remain in his house between 6pm and 6am daily for eight months.
O’Brien was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.
He left court covered up in a Parka hood, Covid mask, and dark glasses, and ignored a reporter’s requests for a comment.