A teacher who had an affair with a 16-year-old pupil has blamed the discovery of her husband's secret love child for her '10 days of madness'.
Mum-of-three Bernadette Smith, 35, was given a two-year supervision order last week and has been put on the sex offenders' register after admitting to engaging in sexual activity with a pupil while in a position of trust last September.
In a newspaper interview, Smith blamed her husband Brian's deceit over an affair which had resulted in a love child. She learned of his infidelity only when the Child Support Agency began chasing him for maintenance.
The English and history teacher claimed she started her affair with Gary Ralston, 16, after trying to be a 'positive influence' and help him.
She said: "There never came a point where I thought I was attracted to him. I just knew I was thinking about him too much.
"We were starting to have conversations which went beyond what should be said between a teacher and a pupil. He told me things about his home life, and, stupidly, I started to tell him about the problems in my marriage.
"I want to say sorry to Gary. I only became interested in him because I wanted to help him. I wanted to be something positive in his life and I ended up being the opposite."
Smith revealed how she told Gary at school that she had developed feelings for him. They later drove to a local park, spending 'hours' talking and kissing in her car.
Within days, they had kissed again, but Smith was unaware that Gary had told his father Richard, whom he lived with, about the relationship.
Gary's grandmother complained to the school and the police were brought in. Smith was suspended and left the marital home, going straight to the Ralstons' house in Cowie, Stirlingshire.
Mr Ralston – who separated from Gary's mother, Carol Morgan, when the boy was a toddler – allowed her into his son's bedroom, where the pair spent the night together, though both insist they did not have sex.
Smith said: "I took off my T-shirt and lay on his bed. I had a wee vest top on underneath. He was under the covers but I wasn't. We did kiss that night as well."
She was arrested the next day – after going to Gary's home again.
Smith, of Denny, Stirlingshire, claimed her marriage to her childhood sweetheart – which is now over – began crumbling in 2009 when the Child Support Agency requested maintenance for a boy her husband had fathered with another woman.
The child was conceived nine months after the Smiths married in 2005. Mr Smith claimed the child was the product of a one-night stand and his wife decided to forgive him.
But she told how she later discovered her husband had continued the affair with the child's mother, who was also married.
She said: "I thought my world had ended."
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more