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Ballet teacher 'was known to sleep with students', court hears

Dumbarton Sheriff Court
The trial is taking place at Dumbarton Sheriff Court

A woman has told a trial that it was "quite common knowledge" that a ballet teacher would sleep with his students.

Jonathan Barton is accused of sexual offences against nine teenage students at the Ballet West school in Taynuilt, Argyll and Bute, between 2004 and 2019.

The 10 charges include engaging in sexual activity, having sexual intercourse with two girls under the age of 18 when he was in a position of trust, and sexual assault.

Mr Barton, 41, denies all the charges.

The woman giving evidence at Dumbarton Sheriff Court said she had sex with Mr Barton on three occasions.

She said that, after the second occasion, Mr Barton treated her differently and was cold with her. She said he made her "feel rubbish" and it was like she had been punished.

Mr Barton is accused of having sexual intercourse and engaging in sexual activity with the woman, him being a person over the age of 18 in a position of trust in relation to a person under that age.

Under cross-examination, the woman said on the third occasion that they had sex she was a few months over the age of 18 and that she had consented.

She said giving evidence in court brought back emotions and she felt nervous and angry.

The trial before Sheriff William Gallacher continues.