Schoolgirl 'saw teacher kissing friend'

A PUPIL at a Suffolk boarding school saw a teacher kissing her friend, a court heard today. Ipswich Crown Court heard that Stuart Barley, 45, was caught “passionately” kissing the teenager in her room after a party last year.

Jane Hunt

A PUPIL at a Suffolk boarding school saw a teacher kissing her friend, a court heard today.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Stuart Barley, 45, was caught “passionately” kissing the teenager in her room after a party last year.

Prosecutor David Wilson said Barley, a father-of-two who has been described as a popular teacher, had developed an infatuation with the pupil.

Barley, who was a biology and sports teacher with 20 years experience, has denied two offences of abusing a position of trust by having sexual activity with a child under 18.

The name of the school cannot be identified for legal reasons.

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The witness of one of the two alleged incidents told the court that she saw the teenager go to her room after the party in a drunk state and was shortly followed by Barley.

The witness went to check on her friend and when she arrived at the open door, saw the pair kissing.

She told the court: “I was a bit worried about what I would see. They were both standing up and I saw them kissing.”

The jury then heard that the witness went back to her boyfriend who was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. Barley then followed her and claimed that “it was a mistake. It should not have happened.”

The witness's boyfriend then told the court that when his girlfriend came back from visiting the victim's room, she was shaken up. When Barley approached the witness and her boyfriend at the foot of the stairs it is claimed he said that he had just been caught kissing the girl.

The witnes's boyfriend said: “I can a hundred per cent say that Mr Barley said 'she has just caught us kissing'. I was taken aback. He was very apologetic about getting us involved and he said he would understand it if we would have to say something. I believe he told me he kissed her to get me on side because he was a teacher I trusted.”

The incident was eventually reported and the police became involved.

Once he was arrested Barley handed police a prepared statement in which he denied the allegations and claimed that on the first occasion he had kissed the girl on the cheek to say thank you for lending him a memory stick and on the second occasion he claimed he had given her a hug because she was upset.

Barley said in the statement: “I was aware the girl had a crush. I admit I was flattered but I would never have done anything about it.”

The case continues.

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