A TEACHING assistant has admitted kissing a male pupil at the school where she worked.

But Helen Louise Turnbull denies other allegations of a more serious sexual activity with the teenage boy last summer.

The 35-year-old is alleged to have had a sexual relationship with the boy over a period from Wednesday June 12 and Thursday July 11, last year, when she was a learning support assistant at the secondary school in County Durham.

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She is charged with four counts brought by the Crown under sections of the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 which cover people aged 18 or over in a position of trust, in an educational establishment, engaging in any form of sexual activity with anyone aged up to 18 in their care.

Appearing at a plea hearing in the case at Durham Crown Court today (July 25) she pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust, by kissing the pupil.

But she denied three further similar charges, relating to alleged intercourse and other forms of sexual activity with the same boy.

Christine Egerton, prosecuting, said the case would proceed to a trial on the three counts denied by Turnbull.

Both Miss Egerton and defence counsel Anne Richardson said it is estimated that the trial could run for about four days and agreed it should start on a date provisionally pencilled in, at a previous hearing, in three-and-a-half months.

Judge Brian Forster said as Turnbull has now admitted one of the charges her name must be entered onto the Sex Offenders’ Register, but the duration of her being required to register will depend on the outcome of the trial on the other charges.

He told Turnbull that she must supply her name and address to police and notify them of any changes.

She must also notify police if she intends to change her name.

The judge bailed Turnbull, of Church View, Haswell, east Durham, to return for the start of the trial, on Monday November 10.

Her bail conditions forbid her from contacting the alleged victim or his father.

Turnbull is said to no longer work at the school where she was based at the time of the alleged activity with the boy.

Durham County Council, the local education authority, has not commented due to the ongoing court proceedings.