A PE teacher groomed a pupil into a sexual relationship, a court heard.

The trial of Colin Yeomans began at Basildon Crown Court yesterday, where he is charged with 20 child abuse crimes.

The charges include indecent assault of a girl under 16, inciting a child into sexual activity and sexual assault of a child while in a position of trust.

The 46-year-old denies all charges.

At court yesterday, Jane Oldfield, prosecuting, told a jury of nine women and three men that Yeomans was working as a PE teacher and head of year in a south Essex school when the alleged offences took place in the 2003/04 academic year.

Yeomans, of Priory Lane, Great Notley, is alleged to have met the female pupil, at a sporting event in the first term, before he went on to message her, with the content of the messages becoming more flirtatious.

Yeomans is accused of pulling the girl out of lessons to speak to her and touch her inappropriately, with things progressing to sexual intercourse.

It is alleged Yeomans had sex with the girl on a school trip, in a hotel in Basildon, and also while she was on a family holiday, where he turned up despite not being a family member.

Ms Oldfield stated Yeomans had coerced her into the sexual relationship.

She said: “She was reluctant but was not forced into it against her will, but it was a relationship that was against the law.

“It was a gross abuse of trust of a young girl who was manipulated and taken advantage of by the defendant.

“After the intercourse, the complainant said she would feel dirty and embarrassed and wanted to get home to wash.

“The relationship ended when the complainant left the school."

Ms Oldfield said Yeomans had tried to talk to the girl on Facebook after she left, but she told him to never to speak to her again otherwise she would call the police.

The alleged victim is said to have felt compelled to tell police about the relationship in 2019 when she began a new job.

The trial continues.