A FORMER school lab technician was jailed for six months yesterday after admitting having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Stuart Douglas Grey, 41, admitted two offences of sex with an underage girl, and one of indecent assault, all committed last summer.

Durham Crown Court was told that the girl's boyfriend caught the couple having sex in the bedroom of Grey's home, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said the pair had gone into the room on the premise of watching a video.

The girl's boyfriend shouted to the girl to get dressed, and swore at Grey.

Mr Newcombe said the girl eventually went to the police and told them the relationship had gone on for eight to nine days.

She said it began on Grey's return from a family holiday in France, in July last year.

Mr Newcombe said that in interview Grey claimed he was unaware she was only 15, and admitted having had sex with her twice.

The court heard that in a subsequent incident, Grey attacked the boyfriend of another girl with a scaffolding bar when he called at Grey's home, concerned about what he suspected was taking place there.

Mr Newcombe said the victim, who suffered a broken arm, accused Grey of being a paedophile, before Grey emerged from the house carrying the metal pole. When interviewed later, Grey said he used the pole in self defence, fearing the youth was trying to get into the house.

Mark Styles, defending, said Grey was in respectable employment and was married and living in a stable home, until he was prescribed tranquillisers and began drinking.

Mr Styles said: "It became a real problem and he was also misusing medication prescribed to him.

"A combination of events and circumstances led to a disintegration of his marriage and his wife left him."

Mr Styles said that while not trying to excuse the relationship with the girl, there was a mutual attraction between the pair.

Jailing Grey, of Townhead, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Judge Maurice Carr said imprisonment was necessary as, "someone has to uphold terms of morality in society".

Grey, who also admitted a charge of wounding, was put on the sex offenders' register for seven years