A trampolining instructor is facing two years behind bars after admitting having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl he taught at a Lancashire club.
Medal winner Michael Job, 33, of Walton-le-Dale, was affiliated to the British Gymnastics Association and had been on a number of safeguarding courses having been cleared to work with children.
But when one of his pupils developed feelings for her coach, Preston Crown Court heard Job did not rebuff them and went on to have a three-year sexual relationship with the teenager, starting when she was 15 years old.
Craig Cleminson, prosecuting, told the court the relationship was consensual with the couple meeting to have sex at Job’s house and in his car.
The girl kept the relationship secret but after Job broke it off she confided in a friend who encouraged her to report the matter to police.
Job was arrested and admitted having sex with the youngster.
Mr Cleminson said: “He fully accepted what he did was wrong and he should have stopped the relationship.
“He said the girl was an individual case and that he felt a connection with her.
“He accepted that he allowed the relationship to happen – in fact he had instigated it.” Job pleaded guilty to six offences of having sexual activity with a child but the court heard these were specimin cases representing the relationship until the girl turned 16.
The court heard Job has now lost his career and has an “indelible mark” upon his previous good character.
Judge Simon Newell, sentencing, said: “This was an inappropriate but caring relationship for a number of years.
“You knew your responsibilities. You had been appropriately trained and you were aware of the safeguarding policies. You had been checked so you could work in such a position of trust.
“You knew full well that what you had been doing was wrong. You knew it was a breach of trust and you knew it undermined your position as a teacher of physical exercise.
“You have lost your career, you have lost self respect but you still have the support of a large number of family and friends.” He jailed Job for two years and three months.