14/08/2014 16:50 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Teacher Who Had Sex With Pupil Had Been Abused As A Teenager

Eppie Sprung Dawson: Teacher who had sex with pupil and been abused as a teen

A teacher escaped jail after she admitted having sex with a pupil – and then revealed that she had been abused when she was a teenager.

Eppie Sprung Dawson, 27, admitted that on December 21 last year, while she was in a position of trust and the teacher of the youth, she engaged in sexual activities with, or directed towards, a person under the age of 18 and that she had sexual intercourse with him.

The court heard earlier that she had picked up the 17-year-old pupil in Dumfries and drove to a secluded layby. Police noticed the car and, as they approached, they saw condensation on the windows.

When they approached the parked car, they knocked on the car door and saw the accused and a male, both naked from the waist down, having sexual intercourse.

Sheriff George Jamieson told her: "You were there simply to teach but you have been called into temptation and you have committed adultery – your marriage is gone, and your career as a teacher is gone.

"What you have been charged with is breach of trust, and I cannot see that there is anything to be gained by a custodial sentence.

"Had it not been for the fact that you were this young man's teacher, there would have been no criminality."

Her lawyer David Finnie tried to explain, if not excuse, the teacher's behaviour.

He said Dawson had been abused when she was between 13 and 18 by a man 29 years her senior.

He added: "This case is about one incident and there was a complete lack of any malice on the part of Eppie Sprung Dawson. There was no intention to cause any harm or problems to the other party.

"What we are dealing with is an incident involving a woman of 26 and a teenager who is now 17 and a half. It was one incident, on one occasion and we are not dealing with a more extended period of abuse."

Dumfries Sheriff Court heard that Dawson's career was in ruins and the tryst had ended her marriage with husband Ranald.

Dawson taught at St Joseph's College in Dumfries and had earlier agreed to give the dyslexic teenager extra lessons.

Dawson, who is now on the Sex Offenders' Register, is no longer employed by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

She was married to Ranald Dawson, 32, son of former Solicitor General for Scotland Lord Dawson.

Mr Finnie described Dawson as a gifted, talented and committed teacher who was dedicated to her job: "She has all the facets that are required to make a first-class teacher and she has thrown all that away.

"She has been punished already with her career wrecked, her marriage wrecked. I would suggest that this is not a case appropriate to make an example of her."

Dawson, of Dumfries, will return to court on July 10 to find out what counselling and help is available through social work services and to give her a chance to attend psycho-sexual counselling.