INDECENT images sent by four teenage girls to Alexander Thomas, including one designed to entice him to have sex with the pupil, were not requested at any stage by the teacher, a court heard yesterday.
Thomas, 30, of Queen Elizabeth Drive in Taw Hill, took to the stand yesterday as his defence began its case in the sex offence trial which began last week.
The suspended teacher denies five counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust and two counts of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.
In his evidence yesterday, he accepted he broke school rules by continuing digital conversations with five pupils, one of whom did not send him images, but he said none of his actions could be termed illegal.
He alleges that at no point did he ever request photos from the girls, nor could he pre-empt when the teenagers might choose to send him an image without his consent.
Describing his exchanges with one of the five girls, he said: “I didn’t ask for it, no. It’s similar to what’s been the case in the other messages. It descends into a flirtatious nature and in this day and age there is no real differentiation between text messages and pictures.Pictures are absolutely the norm.
“It wasn’t difficult for her to send a photo of herself in that state. She took photos of her own accord without being asked.
“I can’t pre-empt these messages being sent.
“It wasn’t my fault it came on to my equipment. I didn’t ask for it and I hadn’t done a good enough job of removing it.”
With another of the girls, none of whom can be named for legal reasons, he said: “She was making very overt advances, into extremely overt.
“She did that as a way of enticing me to have sex with her as per her conversation on Facebook.
“I absolutely didn’t ask her for them.”
As a part of the prosecution case, last week it was alleged Thomas had groped one girl on two occasions in a whirlpool bath, but the teacher said neither event ever happened.
“I don’t recall meeting her at the swimming pool. I was a member of those facilities and I used them up to four times a week,” he said.
“I did use all the facilities available, but I don’t remember meeting her there.
“It categorically did not happen.
“I absolutely haven’t touched any of these girls.”
The post Thomas held while these alleged offences took place, was his first, beginning in September 2010 as a 26-year-old.
He said he received a lot of attention from girls at the school when he arrived, with half of the total 1,200 pupils attempting to find him on Facebook.
“Mainly, there would be comments as you walk through corridors,” he said.
“Wolf whistling would be very common, as well as other comments like ‘you’re hot’ and ‘you’re fit.’”