DCSIMG

COURT: 'I never thought it was a schoolgirl'

TWISTED teacher Gavin Lister (32) ordered a teenage schoolgirl to break up with her boyfriend because he was in love with her.

TWISTED teacher Gavin Lister (32) ordered a teenage schoolgirl to break up with her boyfriend because he was in love with her.Lister, who yesterday pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with a girl between the ages of 13 and 15, met the girl at the prestigious King's School, in Park Road, Peterborough, when he started teaching PE in September.

At Peterborough Magistrates' Court, yesterday, he was warned he faces a prison sentence, and his family has been left to try and pick up the pieces.

Today, his wife Clare (35), decided to tell The Evening Telegraph of his betrayal.

It was only when she found hundreds of text messages to one number on his mobile phone bill, and e-mails on his laptop, that she became suspicious.

The couple, and their three children David (17), Matthew (16), and Leah (11), moved to Peterborough from Sydney, Australia, last summer to start a new life.

Clare, of Meadenvale, Parnwell, said: "I thought we were happy and Gavin landed a really good job at a really good school."

But not everything was right.

She said: "We never had a really close relationship. We used to argue over silly things. I would crave attention."

Things changed when Lister started to fall for the schoolgirl.

Clare said: "He said he was getting into lovey-dovey music, like Westlife."

Just before Christmas, Clare went to stay with her parents in Portsmouth, taking Leah with her.

She said: "When I came back he seemed really cold and distant.

"We went for a meal on Christmas Eve. Gavin was really angry and cold.

"Christmas came and went. I noticed he was getting a lot of text messages, but Gavin said they were from a friend in Wolverhampton."

On New Year's Eve, they went out with friends.

She said: "The next day he just turned to me and said, 'I don't love you anymore'. He didn't give me a reason."

Devastated, she went to see a friend in Southampton, and when she returned she found clues to his secret relationship lying around the house, including huge phone bills for text messages.

Clare went on the internet and discovered he had left messages on FriendsReunited, a website where people tell old school mates about their current lives, and football forum 24/7.

On 24/7 he wrote: "New Year's resolutions: break up with wife, find someone new."

After he had been arrested, Lister, a former pupil at Churcher's College, in Hampshire, left this message on Friends Reunited: "Fell out of love 18 months ago. Met someone else, but unlikely to go anywhere.

"May go missing for a year or more."

Then, when washing his shorts she found a love letter.

Clare said: "I thought it was a teacher or a parent. I didn't think for one moment it was a schoolgirl.

"Eventually he said there was someone else, but wouldn't say anymore."

Throughout January, the couple argued, to the distress of Clare's children.

Then, after a massive row, the truth came out.

Clare decided to tell the girl's family.

She said: "They told me they knew something was going on. Their daughter had told them.

"I said, 'tomorrow morning go to see Gary Longman', the headteacher at King's.

"This is my husband. This is your teenage daughter. He is her teacher for God's sake. They threw me out."

By the time she got home again, it was the early hours of the morning, and Gavin had made things even worse.

She said: "While I was out Gavin told the boys, 'mum thinks I'm seeing a schoolgirl, she's got mental problems'.

"The boys turned against me. They thought I was lying.''

But, Lister was exposed when the girl's best friend broke down in school, under the pressure of keeping her pal's secret.

He was suspended from King's, and later charged by police.

'What I have done is wrong and I will be punished'

A COURT heard a fellow teacher warned Gavin Lister a schoolgirl "clearly has something for you" before he began a relationship with her.

However, shaven-headed Lister (32), who taught PE at King's School, continued to see the pupil until he was arrested.

At Peterborough Magistrates Court, dressed in a black suit and blue shirt, he pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15, and abusing a position of trust.

Lister, of Meadenvale, Parnwell, Peterborough, also admitted breaching his bail conditions.

Cheryl Williams, prosecuting, said: "In late December, the relationship between them became close. Initially by e-mail and chatroom, and by text messaging and conversation between the two of them, and also furtive kissing."

He sent 302 text messages to her using his school-issue mobile phone in a month. She sent him 850.

Ms Williams said: "He knew it was wrong but could not stop."

He was charged on January 17, but continued to send e-mail messages, including: "It doesn't matter that you're a teenager.

"I might as well be in prison. I might as well be dead. At least then I'd be out of the way, unable to hurt you.

"I can't be cut out of your life I won't let myself.

"What I've done is wrong and I will be punished for it."

Tim Devas, defending, said: "This young man is not a paedophile.

"It's quite clear that this defendant fell in love with this girl. It's illegal, it's unlawful, and he was in a position of trust.

"The opportunity to take this much further and make this into a much more serious offence was there on offer. Mr Lister did not take it any further."

Magistrate Wendy Sayers told Lister: "The offences you've committed are so serious that you should receive a greater punishment than we can impose in this court."

He will now be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on March 18.

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page