A DRAMA teacher has been jailed for having a lesbian relationship with a pupil after inviting the youngster for extra tuition at her house.
Kim Connor, 46, began grooming the student when the victim was just 13 and was struggling to come to terms with her sexuality.
During their affair, Connor treated her to tickets for West End shows including Cabaret and a gig by songwriter KT Tunstall.
She also invited her to sing on stage alongside her in a choir at a Sir Rod Stewart concert in Manchester.
The girl became ”enthralled and besotted” with Connor whilst the victim’s unsuspecting parents mistakenly assumed the teacher was mentoring their daughter.
The pair went on holiday together to Portugal, had meals out at restaurants and nights away in hotels.
The forbidden romance ran for almost six years and ended when the victim discovered her older lover had been secretly undergoing IVF treatment to have a baby.
She kept their liaisons a secret until 2018 when the spread of the #MeToo movement encouraged her to go to police.
At Minshull Street Crown Court, the victim, now 31, broke down in tears in the public gallery as Connor, who at the time of her arrest was Head of Performing Arts at St Monica’s Roman Catholic High School in Prestwich, Gtr Manchester, was led away by prison guards.
In a statement, she had told the court how she had been left suicidal following the secret affair as it affected her relationship with her parents who were said to be “heartbroken” by the revelations.
The victim sobbed as she said: ”From the age of 14 my life has been based around secrets and lies and this was down to Kim’s manipulation and control of me for six years.
”She instructed me to keep our relationship a secret, not through excitement of it – but because it was wrong.
”My dreams and aspirations for the theatre have been tarnished.
“Kim took the best years of my life away from me. She made me lose my family.
“She doesn’t understand the hold she had over me for so many years.”
The pair met in 1998 when the girl enrolled at arts school where Connor had just joined the drama department.
Staff described her as ”trustworthy, truthful and an honest person of morals and integrity.”
The court heard the two later became close and when she turned 13, mum-of-two Connor, who was then 22, began to offer the teenager weekly private tuition at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester.
Mr Darren Preston, prosecuting, said: “During a lesson Connor kissed the girl on the lips when she was 14 in a chaste way and the situation began to develop.”
It was claimed the relationship became more sexual and they would swap texts and Connor would sign off saying “your Kim”.
It was claimed at one point Connor was said to have showed the teenager a safe in her wardrobe containing various sex toys.
Connor was found guilty of three offences of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust and a further three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in a position of trust.
Jailing her for nine months, Judge John Edwards told her: ”You crossed a boundary and by doing so jeopardized your career and her innocence.
“She was groomed and manipulated during an extremely impressionable time in her life.”
Connor was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for ten years.