Wakefield teacher jailed for affair with teenage schoolgirl

Teacher Michael Pooley at Sheffield Crown court.
Teacher Michael Pooley at Sheffield Crown court.

A Wakefield teacher who kissed and touched a 15-year-old pupil intimately has been jailed for 18 months for his “massive breach of trust”.

Science teacher Michael Pooley, 35, took the teenage girl on trips and to a hotel after she developed a crush on him.

Sheffield Crown Court heard today (Tuesday) how Pooley set up two fake Facebook accounts to communicate with the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

At an earlier hearing Pooley, of Miles Hill Terrace, Leeds, admitted seven charges of sexually activity with a child and two counts of child abduction.

Passing sentence, The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Alan Goldsack QC said: “You were 34 at the time of these offences and you were a teacher. Your victim was 15 and a pupil of yours.

“Quite clearly she did what many have done before and will no doubt do again, having developed a crush on you on you, her teacher.

“When that happens a teacher’s role is to defuse the situation. And often the best way to do that is to ensure that the teacher is never alone with that child on site. You didn’t discourage it.”

He added: “During the long school holidays you had regular contact by Facebook - that social media, which certainly those who sit in the courts regard as more harmful than helpful.

“An unattractive feature of this case is you brought two false accounts into use, obviously designed to deceive her parents if they were looking at her computer.”

Pooley was also banned from working with children indefinitely and put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.