A FIVE-DAY hearing has opened into allegations that a Great Notley teacher groomed an underage pupil at secondary school.

The complainant alleges that Colin Yeomans, who was cleared of 20 counts of child abuse following a crown court trial in 2020, sent flirtatious text messages to the pupil before the two had sex on multiple occasions from 2003 to 2004.

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) professional conduct panel, which investigates allegations of teacher misconduct, met on Monday in Coventry where the complainant – referred to as Pupil A – was cross-examined by Yeomans’s lawyer.

Yeomans, who was also present at the hearing and is expected to be cross-examined on Tuesday, had taught PE at a south Essex school from 1996 to 2020.

The allegations made against Yeomans, 50, involve sending inappropriate texts which read “you look really nice in your netball kit”, and “you’re wearing a nice bra today”.

Yeomans is also accused of kissing Pupil A, making her perform a sex act, and telling her she would not be believed if she told anyone about what happened between them.

Pupil A also claims there were several occasions where the two had sexual intercourse, including at a hotel on the night of a school prom.

Pupil A's lawyer told the conduct panel the allegations involve grooming and abusing a position of trust.

He said: “Colin Yeomans was a significant figure at the school – he was charismatic.

“The allegations in this case are extremely serious in nature and essentially suggest Yeomans groomed and started a prolonged sex relationship with a female student.

“Pupil A spoke to friends about what happened to her at the school after she left, but it was not until 2018 that she made a formal complaint of any kind about this.

“This culminated in crown court trial and Mr Yeomans was acquitted.

“That verdict should have no bearing on this hearing.

"We are considering this case afresh.”

Yeomans denies the allegations.