Teacher struck off after “picking up pupil in a gay bar”

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A TEACHER who picked up a 15-year-old schoolboy at a gay bar, took him home, and slept naked in bed with him, has been struck off.

Middle-aged music teacher Stephen Atkins met the boy at CC Blooms night club in Edinburgh.

Atkins, who taught at the city’s Drummond High School, engaged him in conversation and invited him back to his nearby flat.

Atkins was sacked from his job following the incident

The teacher, who was 50 at the time of the incident in 2008, drank wine with the boy and cuddled him before going to bed.

The boy, a pupil at another Edinburgh school who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that when he woke up the next morning he was lying naked next to Atkins, who was also unclothed.

The matter was reported to police after teachers at the boy’s school became aware of what had happened.

Officers working in Lothian and Borders’ Amethyst Team, which deals with child protection, interviewed Atkins.

But were unable to charge him due to a loophole in the law at the time which meant consensual sex with males aged 12 to 16 was not a criminal offence.

Atkins did not attend today’s disciplinary hearing of the General Teaching Council for Scotland where he faced a charge of acting in an inappropriate and unprofessional manner by allowing the boy to accompany him home, “cuddle him” and “spend the night in a double bed beside him when both of you were naked”.

The hearing, in Edinburgh, heard evidence from two Detective Constables who interviewed the pupil and Atkins.

In an interview with police, which was read out to the hearing, Atkins admitted he had taken the boy to home but claimed that he had gone to bed fully clothed and had not engaged in sexual activity with the boy.

Detective Constable Andrew Dick, who interviewed the boy, who is now 19, said: “[The pupil] felt he had been sexually assaulted.”

The boy said he had been celebrating a friend’s birthday earlier in the night, before ending up at CC Blooms after visiting another club next door.

Intoxicated

In a statement to police, which was given as evidence, the boy said: “I went to CC Blooms. That’s a gay bar. I didn’t just go because it was a gay bar it was just beside.

“I reckon I either got extremely drunk or my drink was spiked. I’m not sure but I didn’t feel all that bad in the morning.

“I woke up in a double bed beside this guy who was all grey and hairy. He turned round and said good morning. He didn’t tell me his name. He said I had come back to his.”

The boy added: “I said I am 15 and this is totally illegal. We were both naked. I asked ‘where’s the bathroom’ and he pointed across the hall and then I went to the bathroom and I broke down in tears.”

“He was very cuddly in the morning. I was saying I was 15. He was like, that’s fine, that’s ok.

Asked if the teacher had been aroused he responded: “I don’t think so, I didn’t want to look to be perfectly honest.”

He added that his clothes were scattered about the floor but asked if he felt like they’d had sex, he said: “Nothing was sore. I wasn’t. How do you tell you had sex?”

In his police interview Atkins denied that there had been any inappropriate contact.

In a statement read out to the panel, Detective Constable Dick said: “He said that he had been in CC Blooms towards the end of the evening. [Pupil] had approached him and engaged him in conversation.

“When the club closed he invited him across to his flat for some further drinks and to carry on the conversation.”

According to the officer, Atkins claimed the pupil had asked for money to get a taxi home.

Atkins claimed he had offered him money for a bus but the pupil had been unwilling to take a bus and asked if he could stay over.

DC Dick said: “He said he made it clear that nothing was going to happen but that [pupil] was giving him the eye and tried to kiss him.”

The pair slept in the same bed but Atkins said he had gone to sleep fully clothed, only awaking naked in the morning.

DC Dick continue: “[Pupil] stripped to his boxer shorts and T-shirt and he went to bed fully clothed.

“When he woke up he was completely naked and so was [pupil].”

He claimed he had felt some fumbling in the area of his upper thighs during the night but had been so intoxicated he had gone back to sleep.

Robbie Burnett, lawyer for the GTCS, told the panel the only option was to strike Atkins from the register as “his conduct fell below the standard expected of a registered teacher”.

The panel decided that, because Atkins had known the boy was still at school, he should be struck from the register.

They said his name would be referred to the government to consider whether he should be allowed to work with children in future.

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