A Birmingham deputy head teacher who was forced to resign after becoming ‘infatuated’ with a 15-year-old girl has been spared jail.
Brian Knowles, 58, treated the teenager to burgers and took her shopping without her parents’ consent.
The pair also swapped dozens of texts, including one where he said ‘you look gorgeous’ and another which read ‘I love you’.
Knowles, of Sheldon, Birmingham, admitted four counts of child abduction and received a nine-month suspended prison sentence at Leamington Crown Court yesterday. He was also given 12 months’ supervision and ordered to pay £1,800 costs.
Judge Marten Coates said: "You allowed your conduct to stray from the high professional standards that the public demand. The consequences of your behaviour have resulted in you losing your job and reputation."
Harinderpal Dhami, prosecuting, said Knowles, who taught at Barr’s Hill School in Radford, Coventry, met the girl four times in January. He took her on trips to McDonald’s and the Fort shopping park in Birmingham.
The case came to light after the girl’s mum overheard her talking to a friend.
Knowles, a teacher for 39 years and the school’s staff lead on child protection issues, was suspended and later resigned.
Heidi Kubik, defending, said: "He is so ashamed and embarrassed by the foolish actions of those few weeks that he cannot face former friends and colleagues.
"His wife remains supportive of him."
But the dad of the 15-year-old girl last night labelled his sentence a "joke".
He said: "My daughter’s lost friends and she was predicted to get good grades at school but it’s all fallen to bits.
"She comes from a loving family and it’s pretty much torn it apart."
"I just think these judges are so out of touch.’’