A former Sydney Grammar School teacher awaiting sentence for having sex with a 17-year-old schoolboy has denied she was responsible for incorrect media reports that she was pregnant with his child at the time of her arrest.
During an emotional sentencing hearing on Thursday, the woman told the Downing Centre District Court she was “devastated” she had hurt the student, and wished she could “convert my sorrow into something that would help him”.
“I am so sorry,” she said through tears.
The married woman, 33, admitted she had sex with the year 12 student multiple times last year while she was a teacher and he a student at the elite Sydney Grammar School in the inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst.
She pleaded guilty in May to five counts of having sexual intercourse with a person under care.
The former teacher, who cried throughout much of her evidence, admitted she had “well and truly transgressed” the boundaries of teacher-pupil relationships.
She agreed her teaching career was over and she had nobody to blame but herself.
But the woman denied she was responsible for incorrect media reports that she was pregnant with the boy’s child at the time of her arrest in October 2016.
She said a journalist had followed her from a police station this year after she reported for bail, and the reporter had told her that she knew the former teacher was pregnant at the time of her arrest.
The woman said she had told the reporter she’d had a miscarriage.
“The next day in the paper it said I had opened up about my heartbreak … and implied very strongly that the child I had miscarried had been fathered by the victim,” she said, which was “not true”.
She said she was “very lonely” and depressed at the time of the offences.
“To my enduring shame, I think that’s why I let it go on, despite the fact it transgressed boundaries,” she said. “It’s difficult to ascribe clear or rational thinking to a time when my thinking was not clear or rational.
“I was not acting in full control of myself. It’s a bit like drunk-driving. You might think you’re in control, but something else is in control of you.”
The former teacher said she “wrongly thought that I was making him happy” and she was “devastated” when the student told her in April 2016 that he wanted to sever contact.
The woman said she “found it very, very difficult to cope” and to cease contacting the student despite his wishes.
“I read an article recently about opioid addiction and one of the experts was saying that an addiction could give meaning and shape to a life that was lacking it,” she said.
She said she recognised herself in that description.
The parties return to court on December 13.