Colchester Relationship Teacher Detained

A teacher who had a lesbian relationship with a teenage pupil in Colchester has been detained under the mental health act.

Suzanne Harrison, 38, a former director at Suffolk One, admitted four sex offences while in a position of trust against the 15-year-old girl over a seven-month period at an earlier hearing at Ipswich Crown Court.

The offences were committed while she was working at a former school in Colchester.

Prosecutor Godfried Duah told the court that Harrison had swapped telephone numbers with the girl at her 15th birthday party.

He added: "Their friendship developed very quickly after this and sometimes Miss Harrison would take the victim home from school. Miss Harrison was very often at the victim's home address and sometimes would have meals and barbecues with her family."

On one occasion, the victim's sister discovered Harrison in the family home after she fell asleep after a sexual encounter. Harrison insisted this was the first time they had sexual contact but on two further occasions she touched the girl inappropriately.

Mr Duah said: "This was a very vulnerable victim who relied on her teacher's support as a friend." He added that even when the girl went to university, she was subjected to "emotional abuse" by Harrison.

Detaining Harrison until further order, Judge Peter Thompson said his ruling followed a "very thorough" assessment of her psychiatric condition.

Harrison, of Wacker Field Road, Rendlesham, also previously taught at Otley College, Suffolk, before joining Suffolk One, which has hundreds of students aged 16 to 19.

A Suffolk One spokesman said: "We can state that the charges like the ones being faced are indefensible. We have fully co-operated with police throughout this investigation and will continue to do so. We would like to reassure parents and guardians that our students' safety, security and welfare is our utmost priority.''

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