Sunday, 3 Jul 2022

Married mum-of-two teacher, 30, who ‘groped and kissed pupil, 17, at club’ admits drinking 'excessive' booze | The Sun

A TEACHER accused of kissing and groping a teenager at a club has admitted she'd downed an "excessive" number of drinks that night.

Married mum-of-two Ashley McConnell said she remembered the pupil standing in front of her – but has no further memory of their conversation or whether they danced.

McConnell, then 30, said she was ordering two drinks at a time, as well as shots, when she went out with friends in the Scottish Highlands in March 2018.

The physics teacher, who worked at Thurso High School, then visited club Skinandi's, where she's alleged to have kissed the 17-year-old.

Pupils also reportedly saw her touching the lad's groin and holding hands with him.

They dobbed her in after she told them to "f*** off", it's claimed.

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McConnell is facing a fight for her job as she's quizzed by the General Council for Scotland (GTCS) over her behaviour that night.

Referring to the pupil she allegedly kissed as Pupil A, she said: "I can’t remember the content of the conversation [on the night].

"That was the truth, my recollection of the evening was not clear, nothing really in detail.

“I don’t remember dancing with him but that isn’t to say I didn’t dance with him.

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"I also don’t remember some of the other stuff which might have happened but that was me just trying to be as honest as I could be.

“I feel it's quite significant to kiss someone, it's something that I'd remember."

The pupil told school bosses he kissed her "three or four times", it was heard.

McConnell said she spent most of the evening in the smoking area or on the dancefloor.

“You know, anyone – when they drink excessive amounts of alcohol -they behave in ways they wouldn’t behave otherwise," she said.


“I can remember parts of the night and it's not like I've blacked out and not remembered the evening.

"I don’t have an explanation, it's just the effect of drinking large amounts of alcohol."

McConnell had been out for dinner and drinks for a colleague's 50th birthday before visiting several pubs and eventually heading to the club.

She recalled drinking beer and Jack Daniels.

“A few colleagues had suggested to me that maybe I should go home, but I wasn’t keen to go home," she said.

My recollection of the evening was not clear… there's nothing really in detail

Referring to allegations from pupils that she was "dirty dancing" with the schoolboy, she said: “It’s not something I remember."

She said there's been "no evidence" she danced provocatively with the boy, but admitted: "I can't say it didn't happen because I drank a large amount."

Pupils claim she launched into a foul-mouthed tirade, and said of one youngster: "I'll fight the b***h".

“I had a recollection of having an altercation with two girls," McConnell said.

“I had a confrontation in the smoking area. The two girls were very loudly speaking about my personal life."

She said they'd loudly commented that she "wasn't behaving" as a teacher should and that they felt "sorry" for her husband and child.

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Miss McConnell faces being struck off the teaching register by the GTCS.

The trial continues.

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