A drama teacher who had an illegal lesbian affair with a teenage learner after connecting their shared love of live music and having spent nine months in prison today.
Kim Connor, 46, started nursing the youngster at a time when the victim was only 13 and struggling to cope with her sexuality.
During their affair, Connor treated the youngster to tickets to West End shows, including Cabaret and a performance by songwriter KT Tunstall, and invited her to sing in a choir onstage at a Sir Rod Stewart concert in Manchester.
The girl fell under Connor’s spell, while the victim’s unsuspecting parents mistakenly assumed that the teacher was accompanying their daughter. The pair went on holiday to Portugal together, ate out in restaurants and spent the night in hotels.
The forbidden romance lasted almost six years and ended when the victim discovered that her older lover had secretly undergone IVF treatment to have a baby.
The youngster was reportedly “captivated” by 46-year-old Kim Connor, who started teaching her on the stage at the age of nine.
She kept their contacts a secret until 2018, when the spread of the #MeToo movement led her to the police.
At the Crown Court on Minshull Street in Manchester, the victim, now 31, broke down in tears in the public gallery when Connor, who was head of the performing arts at a school in Manchester at the time of her arrest, was led away by prison guards.
Earlier in an emotionally charged statement, the victim said she was left suicidal after her secret affair with her former drama teacher because it affected her relationship with her parents, who would have been “heartbroken” by the revelations.
The victim sobbed when she said, “From the age of fourteen, my life was based on secrets and lies, and this was due to Kim’s manipulation and control over me for six years.
“She told me to keep our relationship a secret, not because of excitement – but because it was wrong. Although she has not been in my life for the past ten years, she has still lost the love, trust and attachment that a child should have with his parents.
Minshull Street Crown Court, in the photo, heard Kim Connor, 46, take care of the girl, who was 14 years old at the time in 2004
‘My dreams and ambitions for the theater have been affected. Kim took the best years of my life. She made me lose my family. She doesn’t understand the grip she’s had on me for so many years. ‘
The pair met in 1998 when the girl enrolled in another art school where Connor had just joined the drama department and fellow teachers described her as ‘trustworthy, truthful, and an honest person with morals and integrity.’
The court heard that the two came close later, and when she turned 13, Connor started offering the teen weekly private lessons at her home in Kersal, Salford.
The prosecutor of Mr. Darren Preston said, “When she was in her mid-teens, the complainant struggled to cope with her sexuality and was unsure if she was gay. But during a lesson, Connor kissed the girl on her lips in a chaste way when she was fourteen, and the situation began to develop, and the two began to meet and text each other regularly.
The relationship started to become sexual and just stopped pecking on the cheek and the girl would sleep with the defendant when she was fourteen. It was with the full knowledge of her parents, but they trusted the teacher.
As for the younger girl, she thought they were in a relationship and that they went to restaurants together, attended concerts and went shopping at the Trafford Center. However, when they were in public, the defendant complainant would warn that she could not tell anyone that they were together and that there should be no obvious signs of affection.
When asked, she would say she was 21 and the defendant warned her that she might have to push her away. She knew very well what she was doing. The complainant was besieged with the defendant, but should never show any affection.
“They became friendly. They became affectionate. It was a relationship that was uneven, but one that was exploitative. Although the suspect never did anything that the complainant did not agree to, the reality is that this was a violent relationship. The complainant was vulnerable and the defendant took advantage of the fact that she was only 14 when the relationship started. ‘
In October 2004, the court heard that Connor would “test the boundaries,” and when she turned 15, the relationship became “more intense and sexual” after the victim’s grandmother died, the court heard.
It was claimed that the couple started kissing more and that they would exchange lyrics and that she would sign out saying “your Kim.” At one point, it was alleged that Connor had shown the teenager a safe in her wardrobe with various sex toys.
The girl left school when she was 16, but the relationship lasted until she was 20 when she started a university degree. She became “upset” after finding out that Connor had IVF treatment behind her back and that they later broke up.
Connor, a single mother of twin daughters, was found guilty of three crimes of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust and three more points of causing or encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in a position of confidence .
She denied wrongdoing, claiming that the relationship only started when the girl was 18 and said they were getting closer after the Rod Stewart concert. She said, “At first I loved her as a student and as a friend.
“She was talented and I wanted to make that talent natural, because when I was growing up, no one had ever pressured me to achieve my goals. But she was a friend – no more than that. We then grew close and I had feelings for her, but I didn’t break any laws. ‘
But Judge John Edwards said to her, “You were an inspiring teacher who devoted you to improving others for 25 years, opening the eyes of young people to art – a skill that was widely derided and underestimated. But that said, the complainant’s enjoyment of drama had been irretrievably affected and affected her for years.
“You’ve crossed a line and jeopardized your career and her innocence. It was utterly selfish and possibly very harmful to a young woman who was both confused and gripped in equal measure. She was cared for and manipulated during an extremely impressionable time in her life. ‘
Connor was also instructed to sign the Sex Offender Register for ten years.