A teacher at a top Catholic public school was jailed today after confessing to a secret relationship with a 17-year-old female student. Married father-of-three Terence Bell, 46, engaged in an inappropriate behavior with the pupil during the seven-month tryst at the private £22,000 a year, Stonyhurst College in Clitheroe, Lancashire. But he was caught last month by another pupil in a classroom with the girl sat astride him and his shirt unbuttoned, Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard.Bell, head of English at the prestigious college and 29 years older than his victim, later confessed to police:
'The game's up isn't it? Love is a powerful thing.'District Judge Peter Ward jailed Bell for 20 weeks, saying parents expected their children not to be taken advantage of while at school.Philippa White, prosecuting, told the court: 'The behaviour came to light late one evening...when a 16-year-old student was in the school and saw a light on in an English classroom and went to investigate.'........ male student 'excused himself' and was left 'distressed' and went to tell staff who called in police, said Mrs White. The girl denied any inappropriate behaviour and said the situation had been 'misconstrued', added the prosecutor. But Mr White said Bell admitted the relationship, telling officers: 'The game's up isn't it? Love is a powerful thing.' Bell later admitted going to see the girl during the school holidays and buying a separate mobile phone so they could keep in touch in secret.
He had been forced to resign from Stockport Grammar School, Cheshire, in 1993 after he wrote to a 5th form female pupil, 'expressing his feelings of love'.He was a hard working and well-liked teacher and began working at Stonyhurst after being given a second chance - but started at the school when its admissions policy did not allow female pupils, the court heard.He rose from an English teacher to head of the department after working at the college, first founded in 1539 by Jesuits, for more than 15 years.
Bell, whose address on court papers was given as Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, told the court he was now estranged from his wife and homeless.He admitted one count of being in a position of trust, intentionally caused or incited a girl of 17 to engage in sexual activity. Simon Farnsworth, mitigating, said in any other other setting a relationship with a girl over 16 would not be illegal, but as he was her teacher it amounted to a breach of trust.