A drama teacher has been found guilty of having a three-year lesbian affair with a teenage pupil.

Caroline French, 38, of Darlington, began grooming the girl for sex when she was 13, a jury at Preston crown court heard.

She denied she was a lesbian and said the girl was lying but was convicted yesterday of three acts of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child.

French was accused of having a sexual relationship with the Blackpool secondary school pupil between 2002 and 2004.

The court heard that the student, who was being bullied, was “plied” with alcohol by French and they shared a kiss when the girl was 14.

This progressed to a sexual relationship and the girl slept at French’s house. The affair ended when the girl was 17.

Now 22, the girl told the court she had felt “trapped by the relationship” with the teacher and was “petrified” French would reveal it to others.

French also had another affair with a 16-year-old girl who moved into her home and took her surname, the court heard.

She accused both girls of lying and said the second girl was her lodger.

She was granted bail and will be sentenced next month.