A teacher accused of having sex with a 16-year-old pupil in a plane toilet admitted to police she had flirted with him, a jury has heard. Eleanor Wilson, 29, told detectives she had given the boy her mobile telephone number and sent him flirty texts but said allegations she had had sex with him made her sick.
Wilson told police the alleged incident on the plane did not happen and that during the flight she had instead been looking after students who were ill before falling asleep.
The prosecution at Bristol crown court has claimed that the intimate relationship continued following their return from the school trip. Wilson allegedly informed the teenager she was pregnant with their child but was going to have an abortion.
Wilson told police: The whole time I thought it was a friendship that had been flirty. I didn’t touch him. We had blurred the lines about what a teacher and pupil should talk about.
He kept coming to the office and talking about stuff and I told him I was pregnant as I had already told one of my colleagues and had no friends and already knew my boyfriend didn’t want it.
Wilson told detectives the boy had a difficult adolescence and thought he treated her like a big sister. The science teacher added: I felt like he needed looking after a bit.
She recalled how the boy had given her chocolate and flowers when they visited Nando’s with other members of the trip after returning to the UK. Afterwards she gave the boy a lift home, used the toilet at his house and gave him her phone number.
When police asked her why she did that, she replied: Because I’m an idiot. Wilson, of Dursley, Gloucestershire, denies sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.
The court heard that analysis of the boy’s mobile phone revealed that between August 2015 when the alleged plane incident took place and March 2016 there 339 contacts between him and Wilson, whose number was saved as Smurfette in his contacts book. This included 295 texts. The court heard it was not possible to retrieve the contents of these messages.
Wilson’s former boyfriend, Andrew Hall, told the court that he caught her making suspicious phone calls urging someone to be discreet.
Hall claimed he heard Wilson saying to whoever was on the phone: I know you won’t tell anybody and I know I can trust you.
Of Wilson’s pregnancy, Hall said it would be incredibly unlikely that he was the father, but added: We were still having sex every few months. We could have had intercourse around the time of the school trip.
Hall told the jury that he and Wilson had been together for nine years but split in August 2016, a year after the school trip. He learned that Wilson had undergone an abortion only when detectives told him last year.
He also said that she did not tell him about the allegations of the inappropriate relationship and he found out only when he read about them in the media.