Teacher who had sex with pupil, 17, in lay-by after school dance admits she 'made some bad choices'

26 February 2024, 12:59

The court heard how the English teacher was caught in the front seat of her car with the pupil from St Joseph's College in Dumfries by a passing patrol car following a school dance.
The court heard how the English teacher was caught in the front seat of her car with the pupil from St Joseph's College in Dumfries by a passing patrol car following a school dance. Picture: Alamy / LinkedIn / St Joseph's College

By Danielle De Wolfe

A teacher who had sex with her 17-year-old student in a lay-by has admitted she made some "really bad choices" when it came to the illicit encounter.

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Speaking for the first time since her conviction 12 years ago, mother-of-two Eppie Sprung has described the period around her arrest as "horrific".

Sprung, who was 26 at the time, was discovered half-naked in her car with the male pupil back in 2012 after police spotted "condensation" on her car windows.

She pleaded guilty to a charge of breach of trust at Dumfries Sheriff Court, was placed on the sex offenders register and banned from teaching following the incident.

Now 37, the former teacher lives in Dumfries and says the scandal continues to blight her life, having destroyed both her reputation and marriage.

She adds that the media "sensationalised" the story at the time - despite later moving moving the teenager into her marital home.

The court heard how the English teacher was caught in the front seat of her car with the pupil by a passing patrol car following a school dance.

The court heard how the English teacher was caught in the front seat of her car with the pupil from St Joseph's College in Dumfries by a passing patrol car following a school dance.
The court heard how the English teacher was caught in the front seat of her car with the pupil from St Joseph's College in Dumfries by a passing patrol car following a school dance. Picture: LinkedIn

Sprung parted ways with her husband of two years, lecturer Ranald Dawson, following her arrest.

Dawson, is the son of Scotland’s former Solicitor General Lord Dawson.

The conviction, which was accompanied by a six-month community order, has now pushed her to launch a new lottery-backed charity aiming to assist criminals in their return to work.

She told The Herald on Sunday: "The time after my arrest was horrific. Teaching was my identity, I loved it. The punishment is never really over.’She said she accepts full responsibility for her actions."

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She continued that she "made some really bad choices" following her affair with the student whilst working at St Joseph’s College in Dumfries.

"My family kept me alive," she added. "All people have value and if they can hold on to that knowledge, they can hold on to their life.

The court heard how the English teacher was caught in the front seat of her car with the pupil from St Joseph's College in Dumfries by a passing patrol car following a school dance.
The court heard how the English teacher was caught in the front seat of her car with the pupil from St Joseph's College in Dumfries by a passing patrol car following a school dance. Picture: St Joseph's College

Expanding on life post-conviction, the former teacher added that she was lucky that a bar owner "took a punt" on her where employment was concerned.

She later began working in the charity sector, setting up her own business growth consultancy and founding Next Chapter Scotland (NCS) to assist others.

She said: "I’m aware they are going to have to face the stigma of my offence and it would be better for them to have a mum who is using that experience for good.

"I hope we reach a point where society is more accepting of the fact people can make very bad choices, and yet that doesn’t define their entire existence."

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