Lorenzo Gandini, born in Rome but living in West Molesey, groomed the 15-year-old with a series of love letters, text messages and phone calls before bedding her, Guildford Crown Court heard last week.
Gandini, a fully-qualified fencing instructor and artist, taught at the girl’s school as well as her fencing club and also gave her private tuition at his home.
The court heard he kissed his female pupils after a duel and shook the hands of the boys.
The best friend of the victim, who cannot be named and was “knocking on the door of the British fencing team”, told the court that Gandini, who was close to all his pupils, would pat the girls on the bottom and was “touchy-feely and huggy”.
Prosecutor Simon Wild said: “He’d planned a campaign to seduce her. Love letters moved on to phone calls late at night, the contents of which became more sexually explicit.
“One Saturday, when his wife was not there, he had sex with her.”
The court heard he slept with the schoolgirl, now 20, between eight and 10 times over a period of several months in 2003.
As well as the letters, which formed a pivotal part in the prosecution case, he bought the girl jewellery, a prom dress, and lacy underwear, as well as carving her an elaborate wooden rose.
The letters were found by chance when, after a breakdown, Gandini fled the country to America, to get away from his then-wife.
Three months later, in May last year, his then-wife reported Gandini missing and police found draft copies of the letters in his house. In one he had written “My foxy lady, I love you and I miss you”.
Gandini claimed the letters were the result of a concoction between him and his victim, who did not bring the allegations to court, yet gave evidence, to make her boyfriend jealous.
The best friend of the victim told the court that Gandini had revealed explicit details of his sexual relationship with the girl, which left her “disgusted”.
The sexual predator was invited to the victim’s 16th birthday party in 2003, as well as to her best friend’s a few weeks before.
The friend told the court that at her party she overheard a conversation between Gandini and another friend. “He had been talking to her a lot during the evening and on a number of occasions tried to pick her up,” she said. “He was very flirtatious in his behaviour to her.”
When asked to repeat what Gandini had said to the girl at the party about her pleasuring him, the witness broke down in tears.
Weeks later, at the victim’s party, Gandini was again a guest. He was very proud of a wooden rose he had carved as a gift. But when she opened it and promptly pushed it under a sofa away from view, Gandini stormed out.
The next morning the victim confided in her friend that “she had had a sexual relationship with Lorenzo”.
Despite several people knowing about the consensual relationship, nobody told the school at which he taught until the girls, who were preparing to go to university, warned a girl they thought could have become another victim.
She told the headteacher, who asked Gandini about the allegations, which he denied. He said he offered his resignation, which was not accepted.
The jury was unanimous in finding Gandini guilty on two charges of abusing a position of trust under the Sexual Offences Act. He was sentenced to 12 months on each count, to run consecutively.
Sentencing, his honour H Dunn QC said Gandini’s behaviour had been “really quite disgraceful”.
He said: “You are an educated man without any doubt at all. This was an extremely serious and extremely important case.
“It must have been a shocking experience for the victim, whether she was enjoying it or not.”