Former lecturer admits sending “romantic” texts to 12-year-old girl

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A FORMER university lecturer who sent “romantic” text messages to a 12-year-old girl has agreed to be struck off.

Dr. Jonathan Kobine, an ex Dundee University civil engineering academic, will be removed from the teaching register by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) next week.

The 48-year-old from Broughty Ferry, Dundee allegedly sent inappropriate text messages to the young child numerous times.

And a second allegation states that on a separate occasion he gave a 13-year-old girl his phone number while at a bus stop in Dundee.

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Kobine was suspended by the High School of Dundee less than two weeks after he started his probation year there.

Mr Kobine reportedly told a local newspaper that the “reckless” incidents date back to when he was going through marital troubles with his wife.

He has now agreed to a removal with consent order following an investigation by the GTCS.

The two allegations which led to the removal order state: “On dates unknown in 2003, at a bus stop in Dundee, you did give your contact details and in particular your telephone number to a girl then aged 13 years of age.”

And: “On dates unknown in 2007, at various places in Dundee you did send repeated text messages to a girl then aged 12 years of age which were inappropriate and romantic in nature.”

Kobine was employed as a lecturer in engineering at Dundee University from 2002 until 2014.

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Dr Kobine was a former civil engineering lecturer at the University of Dundee.

He then began training as a teacher in August 2014 and started his probation period at Dundee High School in August 2015.

He was suspended from the school less than two weeks later after they were made aware of the allegations.

Speaking to a local newspaper, Mr Kobine reportedly said: “I am not contesting the allegations.

“They date back to a time in which I was going through a lot of personal difficulties with my marriage and I was under a lot of pressure with my work.

“It caused me to act in a very reckless way which I totally regret.

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The University of Dundee.

“It was completely out of character and obviously something I’ve got to live with.”

He added: “I stupidly thought it was all in the past and I had moved on from that episode.

“I was at work as a probation teacher at Dundee High School when somebody found out I had been working there.

“I then found out I was being suspended and decided to resign.

“When I was going through the teacher training I was never asked about the two allegations — I would never have continued if I had known there would have been a problem.

“I got counselling to address personal difficulties and they were resolved.

“I decided to split from my wife. I’d been getting on with my life until this all blew up right in front of me.

“I’m really struggling to hold it all together.”

The local newspaper claimed that police investigated the incidents but no charges were brought.

In a letter issued to parents today, Rector at the High School of Dundee John D Halliday wrote: “I should stress that neither of these girls is or has ever been a pupil at the school.

“Further, I would like to reassure you that the allegations do not concern his time at the School and that Dr Kobine’s conduct at the School is not under any investigation.

“Dr Kobine was appointed last summer as a probationary Teacher of Maths and started with us at the beginning of the session on 22 August 2015.

“On 2 September we were made aware of certain allegations relating to Dr Kobine’s life before he became a school teacher.

“I immediately suspended Dr Kobine from all duties, pending a full investigation.

“Whilst suspended from school Dr Kobine decided to resign with immediate effect and, following best procedure, I personally informed the GTCS of the reasons for his suspension and subsequent resignation.

“I would like to confirm that, in appointing Dr Kobine, the School followed its own rigorous pre-employment vetting process, which included seeking, and obtaining, full Enhanced Disclosure Scotland clearance and a number of references.

“All his references, which covered his career up to the end of his teacher training year, were excellent and his Disclosure certificate was completely clean.

“He was interviewed by a panel of staff and also taught a lesson as part of the interview process.

“Our appointment process is thorough and effective and if the incidents reported had been recorded on his Disclosure form he would not have been appointed.”

Mr Kobine is due to be removed from the teaching register next week by the GTCS panel in Edinburgh.

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