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Teacher struck off register for sleeping naked next to a 15-year-old student

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  1. Maurice Nagington 28 Mar 2012, 9:47pm

    Surely if this boy was in a BAR drinking it would be a sensible assumption that he was 18… or at LEAST 16/17; why did the licensee allow a 15 year old into the bar? There are plenty of people who are still at school/college at 16-19.

    I’m not saying what this teacher done was fine and right. BUT I don’t think he should be struck off the teaching register when the circumstances of the situation suggest he was indeed ignorant to the boys true age.

    1. “The disciplinary panel decided that, because Atkins had known the boy was still at school, he should be struck from the register.”

      He knew the boy was a school student. He’s a teacher. He’s a 50 year old man for that matter. It’s disgusting. I don’t care what your sexuality is, I think it’s disgusting for 50 year old men to be sleeping with 16 year olds, or 17 year olds for that matter. It’s not right, sorry.

      1. I don’t see how its ‘disgusting’ for people to sleep with someone who is 16 or 17 – the legal age of consent is 16 now – although there is an additional clause which means that a Teacher cannot have sexual relations with someone under 18.

        While it appears to make some degree of sense to have the clause as a way of stopping adult Teachers from taking advantage of their students, it is being challenged by the teaching Unions on the grounds that it is discriminatory to make one adult guilty of an offence that another adult would not be guilty of under the law.

        The issue here, according to the article, is that the boy was 15 (not 16 as some people appear to be saying…)

        1. Rubbish.

          It is not ‘disgusting’ for PEOPLE to sleep with 16 year olds, it’s disgusting for a 50 year old man, irrespective of his profession, to be messing about with boys. Older men may well have fantasies, both straight and gay, but that’s what they should stay as.

          I find it astounding that anyone could “thumbs down” a point of view like that. I’m actually speechless that anyone would find this okay, or try and spin it into being even slightly acceptable!!? So what, if he’s 16 plus 1 day, it’s fine, but if he’s 15 and 364 days, it’s bad? Ludicrous!

          1. The age of consent is 16: that means you can have sex with anyone else over 16. There’s no clause restricting the scope to within 5, 10 or 20 years of the younger person’s age – do you think there should be?

            Personally I find the idea of a 16yo and a 50yo distasteful, but if the age of consent is 16, it means you believe a 16yo is capable of making up their own mind when it comes to sex.

          2. razorsharpkiki 29 Mar 2012, 8:27am

            I think in Sweden there is a law for scopin age groups so a just turned 16 year could not sleep with some one with a huge age difference.

          3. Spanner1960 29 Mar 2012, 10:20am

            I agree in a lot of what you have said, but the law has to define a line in the sand. I’m sure there are many sexually competent 13yo’s, and equally many who are still inadequate at 20. The poin t is there has to be a median somewhere to protect the majority, and somebody, somewhere has deemed 16. The man knew the rules.

          4. But I’m not judging this on its legality, I was judging this on what I find ethically objectionable. I am allowed an opinion – I think?

            When posted this to their Facebook they included the line “It’s a tricky one.” This suggested to me it’s a grey area because the age of consent is 16, and this boy was 15, and so is it that bad. The answer, quite obviously to me, is yes.

            Whilst it might be LEGAL for a 50 year old to sleep with a 16 year old, I do not think it’s the kind of behaviour that I would like my dad, or sister, or mother, engaging in. And it repulses me. I do think it’s worse that he is a teacher, purely based on the environment within which he works. Hence why I think he should quite rightly have the book thrown at him.

            A man who is supposed to to hold a position of trust, confidence, responsibility, professionalism and be a role model has behaved in a way opposite to all of those characteristics in what I think is a vile way. Thumbs down all you like!

          5. @Chris: just out of interest, what age gap do you consider acceptable? For example, does a 20-year age gap repulse you, or would it be OK in a 70yo with a 50yo but not with a 40yo and a 20yo?

          6. I would say it were a matter of taste and individual circumstances. Age groups tend to be categorised with shorter intervals the younger someone is. By this I mean the age gap between a 5 year old and a 10 year old is extremely significant in terms of psychological and physical growth. Similarly so for a 10 year old and a 15 year old and indeed a 15 year old and a 20 year old. Once someone has reached their 20s, they are generally – both legally and morally speaking – well equipped to handle many of life’s often complicated situations, to be responsible for their actions, to know right from wrong and to know themselves and their emotions much better. The older you get, the less difference there becomes (e.g. between a 50 and 70 year old).

            As I said it’s a personal opinion, so I haven’t got set-in-stone legal boundaries set in my mind. I would say it’s a matter of common sense. Certainly in this case, common sense dictates to me it’s disgusting, and the age gap is 35 years, not 20.

          7. I know where you’re coming from Chris, I should think most people feel the same way (myself included) – that a 35-year age gap is less remarkable if the older party is 60 or 70, and would scarcely be worth commenting on if 80 (let alone 90). I’m just not sure it’s common sense, it strikes me more as prejudice.

        2. Jock S. Trap 29 Mar 2012, 3:24pm

          Blimey I was younger than 15 when I knew and actively looked for sex with men. They may have been younger than 50 but My choice and my choice alone.

  2. It’s not illegal?

    Let me read that again.


    1. Tim Hopkins 29 Mar 2012, 7:01am

      Regardless of what this article claims, it was and is illegal in Scotland for a 50 year old to have sex with a 15 years old. In 2008, when this incident reportedly happened, consensual sex by a man with a 15 year old boy was a crime under section 13(5)(c) of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995.

  3. A 50 year old man picks up a 15 year old boy at a bar. The man knows the child is still of school age, so is barely legal even if he wasn’t aware he was 15.

    This isn’t a tricky one at all. He’s a dirty man who should have controlled his dirty mind, and he deserves everything he gets.

    The teenager should be equally ashamed of himself. I don’t buy into this rubbish about adults “manipulating” innocent boys. I remember being 15 and nobody could have manipulated me into doing something. The onus is on the older person though, as they SHOULD have more willpower, sense and hindsight to realise how stupid and unacceptable they are behaving.

    And don’t tell me that this 50 year old man was resisting all efforts from this 15 year old boy, but just happened to end up in bed with him. A completely inconceivable story.

    1. Sinnysinsins 28 Mar 2012, 10:29pm

      You keep using that word. Inconceivable. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

      1. Impossible to comprehend or grasp fully: inconceivable folly; an inconceivable disaster.

        So unlikely or surprising as to have been thought impossible; unbelievable: an inconceivable victory against all odds.

        Not to be believed: incredible, unbelievable, unimaginable, unthinkable. Idioms: beyond belief, contrary to all reason.

        Not plausible or believable: flimsy, implausible, improbable, incredible, shaky, thin, unbelievable, unconceivable, unconvincing, unsubstantial, weak.

        beyond reason, belief

        Yes, it does. Thank you for your concern though. Slightly confused as to how you’ve established that I “keep using” this word though? Do you keep statistics on the frequency of which words I use? I don’t even comment on here all that much!

        1. Its a quote from a movie

          1. My bad.

        2. Paddyswurds 29 Mar 2012, 12:36am

          Would you be as het up if it was a 16 year old girl and a 50 yo, I wonder?? Some how i don’t think so. Take your homophobia elsewhere, like for instance the Daily Wail or Smellagraph. The 15 yo should not have been in the Bar….. and was clearly on a money making exercise, possibly blackmail.

          1. As I said above, “I don’t care what your sexuality is, I think it’s disgusting for 50 year old men to be sleeping with 16 year olds.”

            If my 15 year old sister had slept with a 50 year old man, I’d want to smash his face in.

            I’m gay, so quite clearly not homophobic. I’m as out and proud as they come. Being gay is not a get out clause for any and all behaviour, and calling someone homophobic is not an argument winner. Feel free to justify more reasonably to me why it’s okay for a 50 year old to be sleeping with kids in their mid-teens, because it makes my stomach churn – and I’ll say it again: IRRESPECTIVE OF SEXUALITY.

      2. I laughed out loud so much :D

    2. So if the lad had been 16 would it have been ok in your eyes Chris?? It sounds like this is agism on your part Chris….you can’t conceive a young man wanting sex/relationship an older man?? Remember Mandy Smith? when she was 13 years old, she had a relationship began between her and 47-year-old Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman and there are many many other examples of similar relationships. It may not be to your taste or acceptance ( and certainly not to mine) but

  4. consensual sex with males aged 12 to 16 was not a criminal offence

    Eh? I thought the age of consent is 16?

      1. Thanks, but the link doesn’t work.

        1. Add a comma to the end of the link and it works.

          1. Tim Hopkins 29 Mar 2012, 12:55pm

            Thanks – I did that, and read the article. It’s over eight years old, was incorrect when it was published, and is still wrong. The abolition of the crime of shameless indecency in Scotland in 2003 did not legalise sex between men and boys under 16. The erroneous suggestion that it did originated at the time with a senior Scots lawyer, who when the error was pointed out, retracted his comments very quickly!

      2. Tim Hopkins 29 Mar 2012, 6:57am

        That link is broken! In any case, the article is wrong. Consensual sex with a boy or girl under the age of 16 was a crime in Scotland in 2008. It still is, although under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, if both people are at least 14 and the age difference is no more than a couple of years, and the sex is not penetrative, it is not an offence (I’m simplifying the rule somewhat).

        1. But that doesn’t apply to the teacher, so how come he wasn’t charged?

          1. Tim Hopkins 29 Mar 2012, 7:08am

            I have no idea! But the law was and is clear that for a 50 year old man to have sex with a 15 year old is a crime.

  5. Paul Kirwan. 28 Mar 2012, 10:46pm

    It sounds as though there is blame on both sides. Young men flirt. Older men are flattered. Add alcohol to the mix and all hell can ensue. Both of them should have been more careful.

    That’s the way things happen sometimes. It’s not the end of the world for the youngster, but the older guy is screwed.

    I blame both of them.

  6. What is it with the gay scene that old men always sit and pray on young guys.

    This is why as a young gay person. I do not go to gay bars as I just want to dance with my friends without old men drooling. You dont get as many creepy old men at “straight” clubs trying to pick up young girls. Why is that?

    1. Paul Kirwan. 28 Mar 2012, 11:48pm

      Two points:

      It’s not always the older guys that make the running.

      When did you last go to a straight club?

      Life isn’t much different now than it was 100 years ago. All that’s changed is acceptance. You’re lucky people drool over you. Not everyone has that good fortune.

    2. That’s ageist Tat for all to see.

    3. Dave North 29 Mar 2012, 2:30am

      As someone at 47 years old I would not touch a young guy with a bargepole.

      Poorly educated and head full of sh!t.

      Completely ignorant of life in general.

      The people you see in these clubs are indeed sad old losers who have failed to get to grips with their age.

      Believe me, I used to get creepy old women drooling over me in straight clubs.

      Its nothing new.

      Just ignore them and move on.

      Its not indicative of everone, just your current experience of it.

      Clubs are NOT life.

    4. If you don’t like being preyed upon by older men, fair enough (though I imagine if the older man was George Clooney the reaction would be remarkably more fluid). But don’t then go home with them.

      As Paul Kirwan says, enjoy being ‘drooled over’ while it lasts, it’ll come to an end soon enough.

    5. I’m certainly not old (although old is relatively speaking, of course). When I was 26, though, and between long-term relationships, I had a lot of other gay friends and went to a number of parties where there were younger guys (14-17). I thought some of them were cute, but I never would have hit on any of them because of the age difference, even though the age of consent at the time in my area was 14.

      That being said, I had at least eight different teen boys pursue me aggressively during that period, even though I never encouraged them. I did eventually have a sexual relationship with a 16 year old, who had lied to me and told me he was 18, and 18 did not seem problematic for me (my first boyfriend was 26 when I was 18).

      These young guys can be VERY aggressive and highly sexual when they want to be; people love to cast the situation as gay men preying on teenagers, but that usually is not the case. However, as a teacher, the guy in the article should probably have known better.

  7. Paddyswurds 29 Mar 2012, 12:42am

    ….Lets wait til you are one of those “old men ” praying (sic) on young guys and see how you like being scorned because you have survived life so you become old, asshole…. And to think we are fighting for equality for the likes of you. Makes me sick, frankly………

    1. Jason Brown 29 Mar 2012, 1:02am

      I never understood the ‘wait till you’re old’ argument, when I’m old I don’t plan on being a creepy paedophile.

    2. Dr Robin Guthrie 29 Mar 2012, 2:44am

      I agree.

      However bear in mind that you can get ‘O’Levels in texting
      and A levels in just turning up these days.

      Personally I tend to fuzz out mentally anyone adult in the Facebook/Twitter/Texting generation.

      This TAT person clearly is a child of this mess of a generation and has zero idea of why he is not being killed for being gay.

      No doubt more concerned with his iPhone or xBox or computer.

      As a GP.

      I wonder why I bother with the likes of him too.

      No doubt into the surgery with its STD.

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 29 Mar 2012, 9:30am

        “Message to self.”

        “Do not post onto forums whilst drunk……….”

        1. Medical Student 29 Mar 2012, 11:18am

          I must strongly reiterate your message to self. Your basic sentiments have a grain of validity to them; we live in good times and those who have never known worse will inherently take them for granted. That is distasteful and they need to be taught the history they narrowly avoided by virtue of being born when they were.
          However, vitriol like your drunken statement, especially when you drag the medical profession into it, achieves nothing and simply pushes people to react defensively.
          And last but not least I REALLY hope that’s a pseudonym you’re using because I know this site appears in Google.

    3. No young lads are going to scorn you for merely being old and having “survived life” (very few at least). What you’ll get scorned for is trying to go after someone so far out of your age range and understandably so.

      The same applies in a heterosexual situation; chances are they’re going to feel (somewhat) repulsed, scared and intimidated. This lad obviously felt different way while sober and drunk, but if we’re going to suggest who should be a responsible adult in this kind of situation it should be the 50y.o. teacher not the 15y.o. school kid. This man has obviously shown he lacks the required and expected judgement and control to be a teacher.

      1. Agephobia, in the same league as the fear of homosexuality. The latter has already maken progress into the annals of criminal law, the former is still waiting in line.

  8. Paddyswurds 29 Mar 2012, 12:56am


  9. The point is that as a teacher he is responsible for children, and he is in a position of trust. By doing what he did that trust has gone and his employers are right to sack him. I hope he gets another job, but I’m afraid it shouldn’t be as a teacher.

    1. Put simply, yes. He can argue his case that he’s not a threat to children in that he met the boy in a bar and so thought he was above the legal drinking age and so the age of consent. However he has also just proven to be ok with sleeping with students. Any teacher willing to do that risks conflicts of interest, not to mention the crap any bunch of students would give him for it.
      It would be better for both him and his prospective students for him to pursue a different career.

  10. I think its likely that the guy didnt know that the lad was under age. When you see a cute young lad in a bar, you assume that he is at least 18. No-one I know would ask to see id before getting into bed with someone.
    If the teacher didnt know the boy was so young, then I dont think he did anything wrong at all. If he knew the lad was still at school then that was a bit dumb of him and maybe the result is just.

  11. Both were to blame. The decision against the guy was harsh. Maybe a week susspension to think about how foolish he had been and be more careful in the future.

    I personally find that age difference a bit… Eww lol but that just means it aint for me. If others want to do that then its their buisness, it doesent affect me ao i dont judge.

    The old phrase it takes teo to tango works here tbh. He prob shouldnt pick up younger people. However the kid is 15, he should not be in a bar drinking and hooking up with older men.

    The licencee is partially to blame too but if kids look old enough and even have fake id’s theres not much you can do.

    When i was 15 a few years back now i remember my mates, some of them looked in their 20’s with beards etc. age isnt always easy to ascertain due to physical appearance and maturity.

    Lets also be careful with he knew he was of school age, may be over simplified reporting. He may of thought he was of student age but older than 16.

  12. philip anderson 29 Mar 2012, 3:07pm

    I Have read more reports on this story and never, thought i would say this but i feel sorry for the teacher. He did not know the lads age even the bar staff must have thought he was 18 or over. It seems the young man had to many drinks woke up the next day and regrets what he got into. It was the next moring when the teacher found out about his age. Also pink news has not reported the whole Story. If you check other news sites you will get a more balanced view, and the readers comment are a lot less judgemental and support the teacher.

  13. Peter John 30 Mar 2012, 2:09pm

    The boy was underage in a bar. I am sorry, but regardless of your age you assume other people in gay bars are at least 18, if you or anyone thought otherwise they shouldn’t be there. How can he obviously have known? In this case the law is an ass, or at least the interpretation of it has been – especially with regard to the poor teacher. Some of the comment are amazing! almost as if being gay and being open about the age of people you ‘like’ is just one step away from kiddy fiddling. Welcome back 1950s……

    1. Rudehamster 30 Mar 2012, 6:55pm

      I totally agree.

  14. Rudehamster 30 Mar 2012, 6:26pm

    @tat: Spoken like a true, hard-bitten & rancid little disco queen. We’ve all seen too many with the same attitude.
    I have a question for you, Tat. What is old to you? You hurl the brand out at 50, but I suspect what you really men is anyone over 30…or maybe 25?
    So, your young now, & you fancy other 18-25s, but what happens if your tastes remain the same & you grow older?
    This ageist crap is the cause of much depression and suicidal ideation on and off the scene.
    The scene is filled with clubs with a huge age range in them, the majority in most venues’ being 25 to 50. Teens are often in the minority, but they regularly treat everyone else with such disgust that they ruin the evening for all.

    In twenty years, when you feel more invisible and left out than ever; when you can no longer hold Court in clubs & saunas; & when you’re faced with the sneer of some irritating, ageist little queen, who ought to know better, what will you say then?
    Feel free to comment in this forum.

    1. Typhoneus 4 May 2012, 9:27pm

      Hear Hear.

      I’m still a (relatively) young man myself but when I was in my teens, you could see the contempt other teens had in the scene for older dudes. I never had it myself and it’s just sheer spite.

      There’s no need for it at all; if you’re not into guys older than you, you’re not into it. No need to be a drama queen about it. Although there’s still young dudes who are ;)

  15. That is my question, what the hell is a 15 year old boy doing in a bar?

  16. And why is a 15 year old in a bar to begin with?

  17. Derek Williams 16 Nov 2013, 2:55pm

    It is a legal defence to argue that you thought a 15 year old was 16, because he looked 16 and said he was 16, moreover the teacher may have assumed he was of legal age since he was in a bar that is supposed to be for 18+ only. But even that isn’t relevant in this case because the lad was known to the teacher, and no schoolteacher is permitted to have sexual contact with ANY student under their care.

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