A Brighton IT teacher who sexually groomed a 14-year-old pupil has been spared jail.
John Cope, 44, was working as a supply teacher at Brighton and Hove High School when the girl developed a crush on him.
He denied meeting her after sexual grooming, but after a trial at Lewes Crown Court he was found guilty on December 7.
Today, the same court sentenced Cope, of Ixworth, Suffolk, to a year’s imprisonment, but suspended it for two years.
He was also made the subject of a parallel supervision order; required to sign as a Registered Sex Offender; made subject of a 7pm-7am tagged curfew for six months; required to attend a sex offender programme; made subject of a Sexual Offence Prevention Order; and will be reported to the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Detective Constable Faye Compson said; “We were glad to be able to bring this offender to justice. It sends out a clear message that suspicion about such conduct by people in positions of trust can and should be reported to police, and will be followed up in a sensitive and professional way.”
Cope was sacked from the school after he was arrested in May 2008.
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