Teaching assistant denies having relationship with pupil

DENIES CHARGES: Lisa Richardson, 48, of Stockton

DENIES CHARGES: Lisa Richardson, 48, of Stockton

First published in Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy News Editor

A TEACHING assistant accused of having a sexual relationship with a pupil told a court the claims were “lies” and “rubbish”.

Lisa Richardson also described herself as an “excellent” teacher and said her accuser, now an adult, was not telling the truth.

The 48-year-old, of Tyrone Road, Stockton, denies six counts of indecent assault and is on trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The prosecution say she befriended the-then teenager at school and abused his trust by having sex with him.

The court heard how the alleged victim, described as vulnerable, would get “wound-up” and leave his classes, seeking Mrs Richardson out.

However, the closeness of their relationship caused concern among some teaching colleagues.

One former colleague, who also worked as a teaching assistant, said Mrs Richardson was often seen talking with the alleged victim.

"Their heads would be close together and she also gave him chewing gum," she added. "It seemed like a friendship rather than a professional relationship."

However, Mrs Richardson denied having sex with the youth at her home or being in a relationship with him.

She said the alleged victim only visited her once to see her cats and she also denied hiding him in her bedroom wardrobe during one encounter.

Referring to the alleged victim’s evidence, prosecutor Matthew Bean said: “He can describe your bedroom in detail because he has been there many times hasn’t he?”

Mrs Richardson replied: “No he hasn’t.”

The defendant denied causing a love bite on the boy’s neck, which was discovered by her parents after they had been together.

She also on more than one occasion accused the complainant of lying in his account to police and the court.

During one exchange while she was being questioned by Mr Bean she

retorted: “Why am I - a professional - standing here listening to this rubbish?”

Mr Bean said the complainant had no reason to dislike Mrs Richardson or lie about his account.

The trial continues.

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