A DISGRACED teacher is starting a 13-month prison sentence for sexually abusing a male teenager who attended an activity group.

Stephen Elliott carried out the abuse after plying the victim with alcohol during card nights at his home with other invited group members, who were expected to remove items of clothing as a forfeit if they lost hands.

Durham Crown Court heard that after the card games Elliott led the reticent teenager up the stairs to his bedroom, where he removed the bed quilt and committed the offences.

Christine Egerton, prosecuting, said following the first incident the victim deliberately went to bed wearing his clothing, but Elliott took advantage of his state of inebriation and stripped him naked, before carrying out a further sexual assault.

The court heard that Elliott said, “it was fun to get naked”, and told him there was, “trust and loyalty” between them, to try to ensure he would report nothing.

Miss Egerton said the defendant’s behaviour continued after the victim turned 18, although no charges arise from those occasions.

He eventually, “broke down” and told Elliott he did not want to be touched by him anymore.

Although the victim was troubled by what happened to him, he did not report it to police for several years.

When interviewed Elliott said the teenager would sleep in his bed but claimed there was no sexual contact and he denied any indecent touching took place.

He did accept, however, he was attracted to males and was bisexual.

Elliott, 53, of Boddy Street, Bishop Auckland, who has no previous offences on his record, denied the offences.

But, a week before his scheduled trial, last month, he admitted two counts of sexual activity with a boy in breach of a position of trust.

Chris Baker, in mitigation, conceded it was, “a terrible breach of trust”, at a time when Elliott was suffering with mental health issues.

Mr Baker said the defendant had his own “troubled background”, leading to problems in his adult life.

“He has been conflicted about his sexuality throughout his adult life and there may be some beacon of hope that he now knows who he is.

“These offences were committed while in conflict about himself.”

Jailing him, Judge Ray Singh told Elliott he took advantage of the fact the victim, “no doubt, looked up to you”.

The judge told Elliott there was “undoubted grooming” and said he did not feel he had shown much remorse, as reflected by the late stage that he made admissions.

Elliott was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and sex offender registration, both for ten years.