Teacher admits having sexual relationship with teenage pupil

Nicola Park pled guilty to engaging in a sexual relationship with the girl while in a position of trust.

Nicola Park guilty of having sexual relationship with private school pupil Website

A teacher at a top private school faces jail after having a sexual relationship with a pupil for more than two years.

Nicola Park, 42, got close to the girl as her own marriage fell apart.

The then 15-year-old had initially spoken to Park as she struggled with a personal issue.

They soon went on to meet regularly in secret – including staying at Park’s home – with the teacher calling the girl “my angel”.

The teenager eventually wanted to end contact in 2020 as she moved to university.

She then revealed what had happened with Park to her doctor before a police probe was launched.

When officers later searched Park’s home, they made a number of discoveries linking the pair including photos of a “sexual nature”.

Park appeared in the dock at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday, pleading guilty to engaging in a sexual relationship with the pupil while in a position of trust between December 9, 2016 and April 14, 2019.

Park continues to be employed at the Glasgow school, but her lawyer said she is set to resign from her post.

A sheriff warned a jail term is “almost inevitable” when she returns to the dock in April.

Park, of Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, had bail continued in the meantime.

The teacher was assistant housemistress at the school while also teaching maths and social education.

In December 2016, the girl became upset and spoke to Park after complaining of feeling “alone”.

Prosecutor Jennifer McKee told the court: “She said Park would not understand how she felt.

“She replied that she did understand having recently separated from her husband.

“Park offered the girl support which helped her cope with how she was feeling.”

The teacher said the teenager could contact her outside school hours.

Regular emails were then exchanged including on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Park went on to call herself “Auntie Nic” and would sign off with a number of kisses.

The pair met in January 2017 in Glasgow’s west end. The court heard it was “understood by both this would not be discussed with anyone else”.

Ms McKee said: “Park mentioned that they ‘probably should not be meeting up’.

“The girl felt special knowing that Park was prepared to break the rules for her by meeting her.”

The court heard the pair met up on Sundays where kissing occurred.

Park later contacted the teenager before she went on holiday.

The message read: “You are my angel. I love you to bits.”

Park was later involved in sex acts with the girl. The teenager often went to Park’s then-home in Hyndland in Glasgow.

The teenager – by this stage now 18 – eventually moved to start university and believed the “relationship had ended”.

However the hearing was told Park struggled with the “breakdown” and “displayed manipulative behaviour” towards the girl.

This led to the teenager suffering from stress, losing more than a stone in weight and ending up in hospital.

In September 2020, she went to her GP and revealed what had been going on with Park.

The girl went on to block contact with Park before contacting the NSPCC.

In October 2020, Park’s home was searched by police.

Officers seized a number of photos of the pair together including on an iPhone.

Park later said there had been contact with the girl outside school, but denied anything “inappropriate”.

On being charged, she insisted: “Completely untrue. There was no sexual activity.”

Park’s lawyer said she had been involved in a mentally abusive marriage at the time she got close to the girl.

Ross Yuill, defending, added: “Her interaction with this pupil came at a low point in her life.

“There was clearly an overstepping of the professional boundaries as things progressed.”

Mr Yuill said Park had been a well-regarded teacher, but is set to resign from her post following her guilty plea.

Sheriff John McCormick said with “hesitation” he was continuing bail.

He told her: “This was an abuse of trust by a teacher over a number of years. A custodial sentence is almost inevitable.”

Park was also put on the sex offenders’ list.

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