Female NRI teacher charged with sexual misconduct

Hina Patel, 37, was charged with two counts of abusing her position of trust by engaging in sexual activity with the students. The charges relate to alleged offences against two boys who were under 18 at that time.

Patel of Sandilands Grove, Sefton, is due before North Sefton magistrates on October 11, the Daily Telegraph reported today. Patel was suspended as a cover supervisor at Birkdale High School in Southport when the allegations emerged earlier this year.

She was arrested on April 21 and bailed until this month. Although the two boys involved, who cannot be identified, are thought to have been above the age of consent at the time of the alleged offences, it is a criminal offence for a person "to engage in any sexual activity with a person aged under 18 with whom they have a relationship of trust."

This is irrespective of the age of consent and even if the relationship is consensual. Government guidance also warns teachers that "sexual relationships between staff and pupils will be regarded as a grave breach of trust". Miss Patel was recruited by the school in September 2009 as a cover supervisor and used to fill short-term absences of teachers at the comprehensive.

Her responsibilities included setting work for students, behaviour management and supervision.

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