A DRAMA teacher, who is alleged to have had sex with one of her pupils, told a court she waited until the girl was 18 before consummating their relationship.

Kim Connor, of Blyton Lane, Salford, is accused of having sex with the student while she was teaching her at a private performing arts school in Salford, in the mid-2000s.

The accuser – who cannot be named for legal reasons – claims she was inspired to reveal the abuse which allegedly happened 15 years ago by the #MeToo movement.

She claims that when she was 15, her parents would let her stay the night with Connor who began to encourage the girl to perform sex acts on her and at one stage opened a safe in her wardrobe which contained sex toys which they would use on one another.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court also heard Connor, who was suspended from her job as head of performing arts at St Monica's RC High School in Prestwich when the allegations came to light, would take her to shows including Cabaret in London during half-term, staying overnight in hotels.

The pair also went on holiday to Portugal together with the girl's parents in December 2005.

Connor, who had begun teaching the girl when she was nine, says her former lover has made the claims due to jealousy after the 46-year-old was appointed principal of another stage school in the area.

Appearing in the witness box, Connor said the girl had first stayed overnight at her home in August 2005 when she was 16.

The girl was attending a summer school taught by Connor and she ended up staying from Sunday evening to the following Friday.

"It didn't make any difference to me," said Connor. "I was travelling there and back anyway."

Connor told the court the girl's parents were "very imposing characters" who she was a "bit afraid of" but when asked by Darren Preston, prosecuting, why if that was the case she went on holiday with them just four months later she said she had got to know them better in the intervening months.

"When I was growing up I never had anyone pushing me to attain my goals," she said. "I was fond of her as a student and a friend.

"She was talented and I wanted to nature that talent but she was a friend no more than that."

Connor said that her feelings began to change for the girl during the summer of 2007 after they had sung together in a choir with Sir Rod Stewart in front of 35,000 people at the City of Manchester Stadium.

"We had grown close over the summer," she said. "I had feelings for her by then and I wasn't breaking any laws.

"Once she passed her driving test that summer she seemed more grown up and we could go out and have a drink together."

Connor also denied that she would sign off texts to the girl with "your Kim."

"That is not something I would write," she added.

A number of former colleagues, pupils and parents of pupils supplied character references to the court which were read out.

A former principle at the art school where Connor taught described her as: "trustworthy, truthful and an honest person of morals and integrity."

One former pupil said: "She (Connor) was everything you want a teacher to be - empathetic, passionate, kind, devoted, hard working and truly inspirational."

Connor denies six counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child being a person in a position of trust and a further six of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity being a person in a position of trust.

The trial continues.