21st February, 2022 12:12 pm
A teacher at a private school in Glasgow has pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a pupil for more than two years.
Nicola Park, 42, befriended the girl when she was 15 as her own marriage broke down.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, regularly stayed at Park’s home between 2016 and 2019.
She ended contact in 2020 when she went to university and spoke to her doctor before a police probe was sparked.
When officers later searched Park’s home, they made a number of discoveries linking the pair, including photos of a sexual nature.
At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Park pled guilty to engaging in a sexual relationship with the pupil while in a position of trust between 9 December 2016 and 14 April 2019.
‘Abuse of trust’
She continues to be employed at the Glasgow school, but her lawyer said she was set to resign from her post.
Sheriff John McCormick told Park: “This was an abuse of trust by a teacher over a number of years. A custodial sentence is almost inevitable.”
He said with “hesitation” he was continuing bail until sentencing in April.
Park, from Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, was also put on the sex offenders list.
The court had heard she 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 teenager – who is now 20 – eventually moved to start university and believed the relationship had ended.
But the court was told that 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 happening with Park.
The girl went on to block contact with her 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 some on an iPhone.
Park later said there had been contact with the girl outside school, but denied anything “inappropriate”.
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